The Ambassador Intuits
I know this man,
I watch his eyes, the way he forms
his words and moves his lips,
and it is clear his intent
is not aligned with his speech.
I have always served the mystery
of the word, the nuance of syllable,
and to some few of us it is a thing
of worship, although such heresy
is never spoken.
I know this man;
he does not care about the thousands
of human lives placed in jeopardy
by what is debated here
in this proposed treaty . . .
he values only florins;
I can see this by the way
he admires his own sleeve,
the fabric of his cloak.
And to serve my king,
I must conspire with my own words
to convey a victory for both sides
while finding a way to slide
enough booty to my adversary
of words to avoid continuing
the looming warfare.
The words, the words,
they have never abandoned me . . .
I have only to foreswear logic
and allow my thoughts to float,
to intuit . . .
there comes a floating only known
to those who worship.
During the Middle Ages, poets and writers frequently served as ambassadors of royalty. Diplomacy required a fluency of words, and poets were seen as natural diplomats. Chaucer served the English king Edward III, Petrarch attended the Visconti, Boccaccio negotiated for Florence, and Deschamps served the French king Charles V.