Noli me tangere | Juliette Sebock

in response to Thomas Wyatt’s
“Whoso List to Hunt”

O, Sir, dreaming of that hunt, that ride,
Your prey, your prize, has good reason to hide.
Surely your dear flees for she is already claimed,
But would she be a doe that is not to be tamed?

To touch, to kiss; to kiss: perchance to love:
No, never love. for Cesars I ame
Jewels and bruises ’round her neck stake his claim.
She dare not speak the truth: for mine I am.

Cesar may collar me, chain me, claim me,
But I will not be his as he wishes.
for duty to Him is eclipsed by my
duty to mine and myself .  Then, my king.

Dear she may be, but a deer she is not,
not tender-footed, nibbling fresh green grass.
She is wild to hold and not to be caught,
Cunning, and ruthless when necessary.

She may seem docile, but she is no doe;
She is powerful and threatens all you know.


Writer’s Commentary

“Noli me tangere”, from my upcoming micro-chap ‘Boleyn’ strikes a conversation with Thomas Wyatt’s “Whoso List to Hunt,” believed to be about Anne Boleyn, attempting to return some degree of agency to her that is lost in Wyatt’s original poem.  Before turning to poetry, I did quite a bit of work as a historian, in both American and British history, particularly surrounding the Great War and Tudor dynasty, which is where my interest in Anne and the plan for this micro-chapbook came into play.


Juliette Sebock is the author of Mistakes Were Made and has poems forthcoming or appearing in a wide variety of publications.  She is the founding editor of Nightingale & Sparrow and runs a lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste.  When she isn’t writing (and sometimes when she is), she can be found with a cup of coffee and her cat, Fitz.

Juliette can be reached on her website or across social media.

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