Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Putti and . . . Raphael

Raphael: Putti , detail in Sistine Madonna (Wikipedia)

. . . And the angels watched
as you came into being, sweet maker
of words and art and all things good,
you died at 37, some say
of excessive sex, far from angels and popes
and salons, and the jealousies of 
Michelangelo who painted the Sistine Chapel
while you worked nearby and
sneaked in at night to see his work;
forever transformed, you borrowed,
smoothed out the rough edges,
painted with classic clarity,
and just as briefly, 
enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance
Renaissance Italy offered;
you never married,
no children, perhaps only putti remember
your short life, fragments remain
of what we know;
all else is forgotten truly
as we stand today before your masterpiece
and see it yet again,
fresh and whole, a homage
fixed in time, discovered anew
each generation and . . .

Raphael: School of Athens (Wikipedia)

I woke up dreaming of angels and thinking of my friend, Linda, who also writes a poem a day for April. I wanted to begin with one of her favorite pictures, a popular painting of putti by Raphael, and, being a new grandmother, found the picture had new depths, for babies are so innocent of what is to come. When I found the image that Linda loved online, I rediscovered Raphael.

The NaPoWriMo prompt comes from Cathy Evans who prompted us to write a poem that begins and ends with the same word. I chose "and" but I'm not sure it quite works, though that sense of something being interrupted could work as a metaphor for Raphael's life.

Now it's time to see what poems others have written for the A to Z Challenge.