I’m always looking for and reading lesbian poetry on the net and I always find new (or old, but new for me) poetry. Yesterday I discovered the poem book ‘ Experimental Love’ from Cheryl Clarke, a black feminist lesbian. Reading through it I found this little bit naughty poem 😉 about Greta Garbo.
easter sunday, april 15, 1990
I imagine you left Hollywood at thirty-six
because you had enough money to live as a lesbian
and didn’t have to buy into heterosexuality
I imagine you overlooking the East River
or in Saks in fur coat
and sensible shoes asking,
‘please, do you have men’s pajama’s?’
a life of guarded anonymity, autonomy, alcoholism
all over Switzerland, the French Riviera,
and Italy wearing pants, flats, floppy hats,
dark glasses, and
toasting whiskey with an Alsace baroness
who liked it in the ass
yearly on the Rhine
I couldn’t help wondering who Christina was and googling her name I found the right one, and what a nice surprise for a butch like me: she was a cool butch prince and queen (or king whatever she/he was called) from the 17th century, who ruled Sweden for some time and afterwards rode off on her horse on her own.
So she’s the Christina in the poem who didn’t have to buy into heterosexuality either…Cool prince(ss) story with a nice pink (and I don’t mean a pink wedding dress) ending. Thanks to Cheryl Clarke for dragging her out of history for me.
Queen Christina, the Swedish cross-dressing lesbian who ruled Sweden in the 17th century. At birth, she was mistaken for a boy because she was covered in hair and cried in a strong, hoarse voice. She was consistently described as masculine, and she preferred men’s clothes. She was also quite skilled as a horseman and at other traditionally male pursuits. Her father, King Gustavus Adolphus, was struck by his daughter’s bright intelligence—which, in that era, was not considered a female attribute—and ordered that she be raised as a prince to become the future monarch. She never married. When she abdicated the throne in 1654, she shed her regalia, left the country,
and rode as a man on horseback through Denmark. Don’t you just love a swashbuckling dyke?
Greta Garbo, another queer Swede, played Queen Christina in the 1933 motion picture. The film did not accurately portray Christina’s life—which was extraordinarily eventful—but did offer Garbo kissing another woman on screen.
(thanks to blogger Sapphist Gazetteer for the historical facts)