A Tuesday treat: a poem from Stephanie Blythe


I love this image; I love John Waterhouse’s work. I love The Lady of Shalott. So I was ever so happy last night when Stephanie Blythe, a regular performer on the open mic. at Puzzle Poets, stole the show with her pastiche/parody which places the Lady firmly in Happy Valley territory. I asked if I could share it on the cobweb, and she said yes. Here it is. Thankyou, Stephanie xxx

The Lady of Shalott – a parody


On benches by the river lie

Old tramps that barely meet your eye,

Dressed in warm rags and getting by;

And through their field the road runs by

To many-towered Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

With bags from Aldi or Tesco,

Passing an island there below; the island of Shalott.


Front doors slam and curtains quiver

Dog walkers complain and shiver;

Bloody cold and wet November

By the island in the river,

Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers,

Lager cans and sleet and showers,

And the silent isle embowers the Lady of Shalott.


By the bus stop, heavy-veiled

Wait the local ladies trailed

By slow children; and unhailed

The bus drove straight past and has failed

To take them down to Camelot:

But who has seen her wave her hand?

Or fiddle with a rubber band?

Or is she known in all the land, the Lady of Shalott?


Only dustmen, driving early

Round Queens Road and on to Warley,

Hear a song that echoes queerly

From the river winding clearly,

Down to towered Camelot:

And by the moon the Copper weary,

Watching locals acting scary,

Listening, whispers “‘It’s the fairy Lady of Shalott.”




There she surfs by night and day

The World Wide Web in colours gay.

She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if one day,

She looks down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,

And so she browses steadily,

And little other care has she, the lady of Shalott.


And looking at an I-pad dear

She bought from PC world last year,

Shadows of the world appear.

There she sees the highway near,

Winding down to Camelot:

There the roaring traffic whirls,

She sees the surly village-girls,

The England flag furls and unfurls from windows in Shalott.


But in the web she still delights

To look at Google’s magic sights,

And often through the silent nights

A You Tube video with lights

And music, comes from Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead,

Came two young lovers lately wed;

“They really piss me off,” she said, the Lady of Shalott.




A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He chucked up in the fallen leaves,

It’s raining on him as he heaves,

He’s had a bit too much and grieves,

does bold Sir Lancelot.

A magpie looked down as it wheeled

Above him, he who couldn’t shield

what sparkled on the playing field,  beside remote Shalott.


He rode a bike that he’d got free,

From Freecycle – too small, but see,

He didn’t need much luxury.

The cycle-bell rang merrily

As he weaved in and out a lot:

And from his sporty backpack slung

Behind, a silver tankard hung,

And as he rode it clanged and clung, beside remote Shalott.


All in the gloomy cloudy weather

Thick dew shone from the saddle-leather,

His cycle helmet had a feather

He looked a picture altogether,

As he rode down to Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flashed into her bathroom mirror,

“Tirra lirra,” by the river, sang Sir Lancelot.


She set a download to “resume”,

She took three paces thro’ the room,

She saw the water-lily bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

She looked down to Camelot.

Black went the screen, the Ipad died;

The mirror cracked from side to side;

“I’ve got an effing virus,” cried the Lady of Shalott.




In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale-yellow street lights waning,

The poor girl in distress complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

Over towered Camelot;

Down she came and found a bloke

And asked him if he’d take a note

To Launcelot; her love she wrote – the Lady of Shalott.


And down the river’s dim expanse –

Like some youngster in a trance,

Having had too long a dance –

With a glassy countenance

She did look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day

She wondered what she’d have to pay

To get the Ipad back in play,  the Lady of Shalott.


Launcelot was turning right

When the bloke puffed into sight

Come to shout the lady’s plight

Through the noises of the night,that floated up from Camelot:

And as he cycled on and on

And up the hill, humming a song

The bloke told him to get along to the Lady of Shalott.


He cycled back, he cycled near

Surprised the lady from the rear

Continuing to poke and peer

At the sodding Ipad dear,

That she’d bought in Camelot:

But Lancelot mused a little space;

He said, “She has a lovely face;

I’d like to move into her place, the Lady of Shalott.”


Stephanie Blythe

2 thoughts on “A Tuesday treat: a poem from Stephanie Blythe

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