Big fan of Keira Knightley after seeing her in Pride and Prejudice. Now she’s starring in the 2012 movie, Anna Karenina directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay written by Tom Stoppard based on Tolstoy’s novel. The initial A (in bold) in the following poem’s title should really be in blackmoor font and in red to give it that look in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
Happy families are all alike – was yours no different too?
But did you find this happiness so bourgeoisie and bland:
Married to a dreary bureaucrat twenty years your senior
With a son, Sergie, whom you’d never see grow up into a man?
Perhaps you were simply predisposed to committing adultery,
As evidenced by philandering Stiva, your womanising brother
Or perhaps, like many women, you too fancied a man in uniform
And so found Vronsky quite fetching with brass and flashy scabbard.
Who cavalierly toyed with Kitty to pass the time amused,
Until lust of eyes and of the flesh sent you down that slippery slope.
Fleeing society’s disapproval, you sought sanctuary in St. Petersburg,
Then in Moscow, before, in desperation, to Europe you eloped.
Where to assuage your gnawing guilt and growing shame,
You assumed the role of patroness to an orphaned English girl,
But insecurity and jealousy into a clinging violet did you transform,
Which Vronsky found quite cloying with your nagging voice so shrill.
Who tried to maintain his sense of freedom by dabbling in the arts,
But society’s snub at the theatre proved the unkindest cut so cruel.
At the final curtain call, this train ride of guilt and scarlet sin,
Caught up with you and, in the end, vengeance was paid in full.
( “A. Karenina” © 2013. PoeticMeditations. All rights reserved. )