Today’s prompt from napowrimo.net:
Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.
Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.
Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!
I wrote about a magical place. Here’s the version edited as per instructions:
what were windows,
Rivière de Sorgue bubbles
Musée de Petrarque stands stately
tiny secluded valley
the pool where
river is birthed
A hole I could hold in my hands.
the poet still walks.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Here is this beautiful place, a site of a novel (theoretically in progress, though actually resting, like dough) from our visit in 2011. I dream of returning there to stay and work on this project when the trees are all leafed. The arch is behind the Musee, a modern-ish town is directly behind the limestone wall/cliff. I’m standing on the path to the fontaine (the river source). There is another photo from this walk on the cover of my poetry chapbook 2011.
Here is the first version (I couldn’t do it in a paragraph form, despite myself!) I think it could make a fine poem itself:
Through the arch and back through time
the long-abandoned château des Evêques de Cavaillon, XIV
rocks crumbling from what were windows, vacant eyes looking down to where
The Sorgue bubbles by, twisting this way, then that.
Musée de Petrarque stands stately amid garden and tall stretched poplars.
We walk along the ancient path beneath the limestone cliffs,
This tiny secluded valley, until we reach the pool where the river is birthed
from a hole I could hold in my hands.
You can feel the magic here; the poet still walks at
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Which version do you prefer? The ‘brevity is an art’ version or the ‘extended version’?
I expect WordPress to link to a complete blog post about our visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse below (entitled Magic Fontaine); you may be interested in reading that post, as well.
Teacher moment: Do you know who Francesco Petrarch/Petrarque/Petrarca is? He was the father of humanism. He coined the term “The Dark Ages.” He traveled around Europe rescuing ancient Greek and Roman texts; at his death, he had the largest library in Christendom. He is called ‘the first tourist.’ He was a philosopher and scholar. Most of those things are forgotten. He is best remembered because he invented the sonnet form (specifically The Petrarchan aka Italian sonnet). For 50 years he wrote these 14 lined poems to/about Laure/Laura (deNoves) de Sade, a married woman who died, likely of bubonic plague, in 1348. He met her the first time April 6, 1327 in Avignon at Ste Claire Convent and his adoring sonnets in praise of her remain with us today. They are called Canzoniere. (Somewhere on this blog you’ll find one-#61- that I’ve translated from the Italian, likely also linked below). He was a man who knew he was making contributions to history. He expected to be remembered. I have a little crush on him, as in my Grace Awakening series, the musical young man, Ben, was Petrarch in a past life…)
any other April 1, 2011
Tags: petrarca, Petrarch, postaday2011
I came across this quote in a junior high text book. It seemed rather profound in the context of his appearance in Grace Awakening, not to mention the development of Grace Beguiling.
I am so looking forward to wandering around Avignon and the Vauclus region, exploring the places where Francesco Petrarca and Laure de Noves de Sade walked 700 years ago. He first saw her at the church across from our hotel 684 years ago!
Because Petrarch was such a prolific writer, his words remain with us today. His thoughts, emotions, and battles are just like those we must sort out in our own lives today. His words are timeless. He didn’t just belong to his time, and it’s wonderful how he shared himself so generously with the future.
Imagine how much fun Petrarch would have had in our world. His blog would have been fascinating to read. He would have loved being able to travel around the whole world with little effort, and I know he would have loved the internet: entire libraries of thought at his disposal in an instant! Best of all- there is no black plague to steal his beloved muse in our time. He could follow all her doings on Facebook and sigh at her profile photo.
I am thankful to live when I do, with all our modern benefits and health care. If I long for the beauty of a previous age, I am not so foolish so as to imagine that I’d have been among the nobility who would have been able to enjoy it! I’m glad Petrarch felt enough out of touch with his time, as he looked back to Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and forward to posterity.
How about you? What time would you like to have been born in?