This joyous month of June and here thou art,
The most beautiful of those before me.
Chivalry is my approach from the start,
As before I’ve been taken to my knee.
Your beauty excels beyond all others,
Yet thorny can thy disposition be,
Forcing some to invoking their druthers.
That will not however be true of me.
Study thee have I from both near and far,
As well as history and pedigree,
To avoid a fearful motive to spar,
For my wish is to hold you breathlessly.
With two hands I caress thee ev’r softly,
Looking upward, dreaming of us warmly.
To have this poem read to you click arrow below
Read by Rob Sieczkiewicz
The question of today’s poem is obvious, is the speaker talking about a rose or a woman? I’ll leave that up to you. But to look at the young lady in the painting I’d think it would not be a rose. The creator of this so gentle beauty is Frenchman Emile Vernon (1872-1919) who was born in Blois, France. His birthplace in on the Loire River that run up to Orleans and on to Provins where roses were grown for their oils to make perfume. This may be why he painted so many beautiful woman with roses. The thought that entered my mind was why did Emile dedicate so much time to painting women in such fine detail? And why didn’t he join the Impressionist movement? I think the answer lies in his mentor, William Bouguereau, whose favorite theme was “Son thème de prédilection est la représentation du corps féminin.” He painted women. There is little written about Emile Vernon. No one has ever published his biography that I can find. It could be that his short life of 47 years was just a simple life but for sure he left his footprint. The link below will provide you with additional views of Emile’s work.
To The Diamonds, Goodbye, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
The first fickle flakes finally fell on
the fertile fallow fields of father's farm.
As they met on the ground it was chiffon,
Ever so light a blanket to keep me warm.
The quiet unmolested snow fell through,
the night. 'Twas the night of the virgin snow.
This day our pillaging we shall eschew.
This day is contrition of here and now.
I look to horizon off in the east,
The sun has sent its light but not its heat.
Saw billions of diamonds to say the least,
Glistening all across the county seat.
First the roar then the corner of my eye,
Came the snowplow, to the diamonds, goodbye.
Click on arrow below to have this poem read to you
Read by Rob Sieczkiewicz
There is a natural beauty in the virgin snow. But there is a practical reason for this blanket. It protects the barren lands from the winter winds’ erosion. There is also other reasons, one being it gives the land time to heal from man’s use and abuse of the land. The snow supplies new life to the land beneath it. Each one of the diamonds may be considered as a vitamin pill. In the poem I use the snow plow as a symbol of technology that has helped humankind to increase production per acre but at what cost? As the world’s population continues to climb the demand for food does too. We strip our planet of more of its forest to plant more crops by bring in more chemicals and equipment.
This detail of the painting Primavera (Allegory of Spring) was done by Botticelli for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, a cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent some time around 1482.
The reason for the detail for, of course, the poem that I share with you today. Sandro Botticelli was in love with Simonetta Vespucci. It was obvious by his paintings. The likeness of her appears in so many of his paintings, especially when Botticelli painted Venus. In Primavera Venus appears. I need to give you some background on Simonetta.
Simonetta Vespucci (née Cattaneo) was born during 1453 and died on the 26th of April 1476. Primavera was painted six years after her death. Her beauty earned her the title La Bella Simonetta. By way of marriage she became an Italian noblewoman of Genoa as the wife of Marco Vespucci of Florence who was the cousin of Amerigo Vespucci. Moving to Florence with her husband she attracted much attention, especially that of Giuliano de Medici who wooed her and had her picture, painted by Botticelli, on his banner for a jousting match. Botticelli painted portraits of Giuliano and Simonetta but never the two together which would have been great for my purpose, but no such luck as the paparazzi did not exist in the 15th century even though the Camera Obscura was available. There is plenty of interesting happenings in the history on Simonetta, Botticelli, and the Medici family but for now I am happy to offer an image via a poem of a beautiful woman and a man who would have her even if her name is not Simonetta.
Never to Say Goodbye, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
They stood there motionless as the wet wind,
Weaved a veil of her long gold flaxen hair,
Each with a small smile as if they had sinned.
She parted her hair to accept his stare.
For him each second with her was treasured,
As he paints her beauty to the canvas,
Of his mind and in his heart so pleasured,
Even knowing the existing crevasse.
With weather so dark why do they linger?
Do each have a secret wanting to share?
Each measuring words to avoid danger?
Suddenly, the gust broke the muted stare.
Again she parted her hair to be met,
With his kiss. Meeting not soon to forget.
Yesterday I posted my poem Meeting Death. For some reason I wasn’t comfortable about it. There was something missing. The poem has somewhat of a personal connotation and before I talked myself out of it I posted it. Well I have made a slight adjustment in the words but today I include what was missing, a Edward Hopper painting. This spring while at the Brandywine River Museum of Art I saw a couple of his paintings. His Sunday 1926 captivated me. I made note of it knowing that some day it would be put to use; so here it is:
I, sitting there Sunday at noon, the eye,
In the sky closed. My world was in darkness.
Shocked was I, that there was nothing awry,
All went about their everyday business.
How does one plan for a day like today?
In the stillness I could not think, confused
And without answers, with nothing to say.
I claim adulthood. I can’t be recused.
Life has been a life of impunity,
Challenges have been a simple repair,
Rewards have been great opportunity,
But now here I am engulfed with despair.
I gasped and gasped finally took a breath,
The only guarantee is meeting death.
The starkness of the painting is probably the first characteristic you notice. No inventory in the stores. No people, No cars, and not even a bird. The man is even bald, no hair. Hopper surely conjures up the imagery of loneliness.
Notice the difference in the body language in the women in this painting versus Across the Table poem. There are so many cliches that could explain this outcomes, i.e., “She let him chase her until she caught him.” But I’ll leave you to think of them. She probably had feelings for this guy but wanted to catch him on her terms. Even a simple little kiss at the table she is in control. Sitting square on the seat with head erect. If he wants a kiss he has to work for it. He is willing to succumb to her beauty. He, like a bee heads for the honey. One final note on how well this woman had things planned. Notice the placement of the coffee cup. It was well out of the way. She didn’t want anything messing up this kiss. Compare this to where the cup was in Across the Table. Nearly in the center of the table. Hope it was empty.