Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Prisoner of Zenda

At the end a
"The Prisoner of Zenda,"
The King being out of danger,
Stewart Granger
(As Rudolph Rassendyll)
Must swallow a bitter pill
By renouncing his co-star,
Deborah Kerr.

It would be poor behavia
In him and in Princess Flavia
Were they to put their own
Concerns before those of the Throne.
Deborah Kerr must wed
The King instead.

Rassendyll turns to go.
Must it be so?
Why can't they have their cake
And eat it, for heaven's sake?
Please let them have it both ways,
The audience prays.
And yet it is hard to quarrel
With a plot so moral.

One redeeming factor,
However, is that the actor
Who plays the once-dissolute King
(Who has learned through suffering
Not to drink or be mean
To his future Queen),
Far from being a stranger,
Is also Stewart Granger.

Credit


From The Mind Reader: New Poems by Richard Wilbur, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Copyright © 1976 by Richard Wilbur. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Author


Richard Wilbur

The author of numerous books of poetry, Richard Wilbur was a recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award and served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1961 to 1995.

Date Published: 1976-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/prisoner-zenda