Monthly Archives: June 2016

Cecilia, My Precious! [Milan 1490]

Cecilia! Cissy! Can you hear me, Sweet?
I’m here in the drapes close beside you
I shall love you forever, beautiful child
Sweetheart, I see that Leonardo smiled.

It is I, Milan, who adores you, fine beauty
With my people enraptured before you
My regal devotion is yours to command
Pray, accepting this Duke, take his hand.

O Cecilia, my hand embodies betrothal
A promise I grant you, pure angel divine
Come to me, come to me, true pure one
And let all others around us begone.

I spoke but blindly when first I spoke love to you
Two hearts broken that my heart spoke not true.

 

See Leonardo da Vinci’s famous 1490 painting of Cecilia Gallerani, as the 17-year-old
mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. One of the most beautiful girls of the past 500 years, in my humble opinion. She came within the Duke’s circle because her father was in the employ of the Court.

Although Ludovico’s favourite, they could not marry even though she had given birth to their son, Cesare, as he had to make a dynastic alliance with another politically important family. Consequently, Ludovico reneged and married Beatrice D’Este instead. Sadly, Beatrice died in childbirth aged only 21. By this time Cecilia had married a friend of the Duke and one can only speculate on the levels of distress caused at this dreadful turn of events.

Cecilia was revered by the Duke, Leonardo and all the learned and outstanding men of Milan because she combined immense beauty with a powerful and creative intellect. To them, a creature so favoured by the gods must have been favoured by God Himself.
A Milanese poet of the time suggested that the portrait looked as if Cecilia was distracted by someone calling to her. Such is the power of the painting.

This gave me the idea for my sonnet.

Lady with an Ermine   Leonardo da Vinci   1489-90
Owned by Poland and exhibited in Krakow

 
 

 

The Crossing Hare

Fast drove we by car
When
Out stepped the hare
Long legged, dainty
Such liquid grace
With casual stride
It nimbly jumped
Verge and foliage
Then, like a prince
Was gone.

Around the bend
Ours and other
Murderous cars
In pincered rush
Missed the hare
And simply
Motored on.

Moments
Of innocence
And beauty
Made fast away
To run in majesty
Through a memory
Deeply
Not forgetting.

 

 

Incoming Gods Arrive: Is Jesus Here?

And here they come, moving quite overwhelmingly
Unhindered by creaky laws of science known to us
Out of a darkened sky to make our narrowed sight
Bleed at the fierce intensity of such pulsating light
Arriving as blazing flamingos slowing in a final rush
To stand, engulfing all around in a blind caress.

Useless stupefaction consumes those present here
And terror empties all from urgent thoughts to flee
Frozen watchers glimpse Earth’s new alien dawn
Our tomorrow, where alien tanks are on the lawn
Presuming annihilation, unless the living Christ is
Among these inward gods of travel, gods of space.

We plead to Heaven for Jesus, accumulating centuries
Of Angels now advancing, redrawing space and time.

 

 

[Not too long ago we were told that Earth was probably the only inhabited planet in the Universe.
Since then our understanding has broadened and deepened, with thousands of planets in the habitable zones of solar systems within the Milky Way having similar possibilities of life. As NASA and others have so much more of the Universe to investigate, we’ll very possibly be thinking of numbers on a hugely greater scale in the coming years.
Just as we have been reaching out into space for some time, isn’t it likely that other planets are doing the same? The intense thought struck me as to where that left our concept of God, Jesus and Heaven. Would we be rescued from an alien invasion? Or left to our own sinful devices and our newly altered destiny? Or perhaps we share our Lord and Jesus in our Heaven with all the other planets?]

La Ragazza Col Mandolino (1490)

Dolce ti è la vita, o mia signora
Tu ed il tuo mandolino
Che brilla, per opera del Maestro
Dentro al tuo fresco palazzo.

La sua melodia riflette la tua grazia
La purezza della tua anima senza peccato
Firenze ti circonda con il suo clamore
Prima che la sua potente oscurità la pervada.

Le corde pizzicate cantano con soave dolcezza
È il signore stesso a sfiorare il tuo mento
Una spada colma di gemme giace sul marmo
Mentre le danze dell’amore stanno per cominciare.

Ah, nel fresco e dolce profumo di quel palazzo Fiorentino
Io sarò tuo, o mia signora, Se tu vorrai essere mia.

 

( Roberto – Thank you for your fine translation! )