Madame Smiled – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Eat The Rich – dVerse Poets – Quadrille



“They call me a tyrant … one arrives at a tyrant’s throne by the help of scoundrels … What faction do I belong to? You yourselves. What is that faction which, since the revolution began, has crushed the factions and swept away hireling traitors? It is you, it is the people, it is the the principles of the Revolution …”   Maxilien Robespierre’ last speech to the Convention in 1794.”


Madame Smiled

Maximilien smiled,
such cherubic cheeks,
as baskets filled while
terror reigned
slice by slice
to the cheers of the
First Estate
Madame could eat no more,
Public Safety now redundant
Madame smiled and chose
Maximilien for her rich
a cut above.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Note: Maximilien Robespierre, was the primary (though not the sole) architect of the Reign of Terror 1792 – 94 (though often disputed). The Terror produced 16.593 “official’ deaths! Madame refers to Madame Guillotine – a colloquial term. The Terror ended with the execution of its primary architect, irony indeed!



Filed under Free Verse, poem, politics, Quadrille

37 responses to “Madame Smiled – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Muntazir

    Indeed, ironical

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too love the irony of this , wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent! Cuts right through.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Justice, finally served.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An interesting and terrifying period in history, Paul, and a nice dose of irony. The guillotine’s smile is not a pleasant image, neither are the baskets filling slice by slice. The last line is a gem!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. One can never be sure of what might happen next.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At least it came to an end… what a great slice of history, though the baskets filled is a terrifying thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Amazing! Your poem is perfection. I’m definitely interested in reading your future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MNL

    I didn’t know Robespierre was the last one killed although truth to tell I only knew general bits of that revolution. “Be careful what you wish for” comes to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know, or had forgotten that he was the last. Your double meaning of your last line is perfect. Oh, the irony (slices deeply).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Darkly funny, Paul! Great read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like your take on this prompt. Nice poem describing a horrid time in history.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It was my pleasure to read thank you for sharing and following our block thank you


  14. I am glad I was not alive at that time in history, anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. lync56

    Well written Macabre


    Liked by 1 person

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