"The Death of Marat" by Jean-Jacques HauerAn Ode to Anti-French Revolution Hero ‘Charlotte Corday,’ by Jeremy Gadd The Society October 11, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 6 Comments Brave, brave, Charlotte Corday, took upon herself to slay that man of revolutionary violence, Jean-Paul Marat. On July thirteenth in ninety-three, the convent girl from near the sea, stabbed Marat to death in his bath, before he could attempt to flee. Brave, brave Charlotte Corday. Appalled by all the murdering; by France’s cultural perverting, Charlotte saved hundreds of thousands by acting without wavering. Brave, brave, Charlotte Corday. Aware her death would be sealed that day, she killed the journalist who’d betray Francais by claiming to be “the people’s friend.” Where O where are you today? Brave, brave, Charlotte Corday. Jeremy Gadd has previously contributed poems to literary magazines and periodicals in Australia, the USA, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium and India. He has MA Honours and PhD degrees from the University of New England. He lives and writes in an old Federation era house overlooking Botany Bay, the birthplace of modern Australia. Further information can be found at: https://jeremygaddpoet.com. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Joe Tessitore October 11, 2020 Your closing couplet says it all – where O where, indeed! Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 11, 2020 Marat was “a loathsome reptile,” as even a Girondist put it at the time, and he richly deserved death. Marat and his Montagnards were responsible for mass murder and terrorism throughout France. Even as he lay soaking in the bathtub on that fatal day, he was chuckling over how many persons he’d be sending to the guillotine. As they say in Texas, “He needed killin’.” Good work, Charlotte. Reply Margaret Coats October 11, 2020 Happy to see this poem in a form resembling a French refrain lyric. It is vaguely like the virelai, which can introduce rhyme sounds beyond the two prescribed for the opening stanza, while returning to those two sounds as the dominant ones in the poem. This gives a traditional, pre-Revolutionary musicality to Charlotte’s bravery here. Marat was certainly a monster of evil, and the painting above is a far cry from what Charlotte found as she entered his room. He was a corpulent mass of flesh bloated by disease, who sat in his bath because he would have broken and befouled the widest chair. Yet he welcomed Charlotte because she (so he thought) would provide him with additional names of people whom he could order executed, and he explicitly relished the idea in her presence, which confirmed her resolve to kill the monster. I thank Dr. Salemi for recommending Nesta Webster’s book, The French Revolution, available at Internet Archive. It gives the details from all sources (for and against the Revolution), that come from that very time period and from persons with living memory of the events. And let’s use the name referring to that Revolution today, used by many French speakers, as “la revolution dite francaise,” or “the revolution called French,” because it did not reflect the authentic values of the nation. Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 12, 2020 Amen to that, Dr. Coats. Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2020 Margaret – What phenomenal descriptive powers you have. Marat must have been a virtual corpse long before he was dead by the sound of it. And Charlotte! How on earth did she have the presence of mind to commission that portrait immediately before she died, a portrait in which we can see clearly today the nimbus forming over her left shoulder? A fascinating poem Jeremy, about a fascinating woman. Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 12, 2020 As a matter of fact, Marat was close to death from his skin disease at that time, and had largely retired from public life. Charlotte Corday did not know this fact, and after her stabbing of Marat, many persons privately expressed the opinion that she would have done better to kill Robespierre, a much more actively dangerous maniac. But in any case, Marat got what he had earned, and Corday sent him to Hell. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.