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Arianna Jan 14
****** by your actions,
Acquitted by noble birth,
Absolved by your art.
A haiku for Carlo Gesualdo (1566 - 1613), an exceptional composer known for his unique and innovative compositions, the ****** of his wife and her lover, reclusive and masochistic tendencies, and dabbles in the occult.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZAs9LjJAHU
Euphie Jan 10
A new era of making love
from underneath our bedsheets.
Arianna Jan 7
Eyes averted,
Dark and downcast,
Full and flickering with firelight,
Ears brimming,
Echoing with the ethereal songs
Of angels, hymns
Of liberation ⸺

How many times
Have I gazed, like you,
In this way
Upon the candle,
Wishing myself to dust
Or to smoke,
Or even to the wanton insatiability of brimstone:
Raging
Devouring
Twisting
Unbroken
Breath of veneration!

Washed asunder, floating
On waves of strange emotion:
Tears thunder, gushing torrents
Of poison,
Steaming black humors of malaise
From the hardened recesses of my heart;
Alms of sorrow and rejuvenation,
Laid in reverence on the altar of autumn leaves,
In genuflection
Upon the softness of the Earth
Where she catches my body
Felled, brought to its knees
But an arm's length above the resting place of wildflowers
Where I shall return
Come sundown
Swallowed in the brilliance of fire
Floating down
In droplets of scarlet
Light
To stain the snow-white lilies
Bursting now from my toes,
From the soles
Of my feet.

Now from my lips
Ousting
The weeds of stagnant silence
Blossoming
Ivory peals
In the petals
Of songs
(For there are still songs!)
As yet unsung
To sing...

Now from my palms,
Turned in supination
Towards the Sun,
Raised
In supplication of forgiveness
For my prideful unworthiness,
In the wide-eyed hope of a
Child
Who firsts beholds the Light,
Banishing the darkness of the ****
From its eyes
As now that Light
Sears the image of the world
Out from mine,
That Who gazes down
With such glances of golden warmth
Ringed infinitely with blinding halos of healing
Might deign to kiss
The fingers of one
Low as a sparrow
And lower,
For the sparrow soars
Where this leaden body could not rise,
Could not
With eyes dark
Made still darker
By their shame before the Sun,
In itself
Nurture wings
Of its own
To fly...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FzLvG6xTPA

A recitation with the music and paintings that inspired this. I've never done a project like this before, so it's extremely rough: the music is too loud at some points, and there are moments where the vocal layer cuts out, and a few seconds where there's some noise I'm still trying to figure out how to fix. Still workin' on it. :-) But, it represents what was happening in my mind at the time of writing, the feeling of "repentance" and connection with something higher, of finding acceptance and profound tenderness. I adapted and added verses from the Bible as well as from the Upanishads. Not sure why I chose these particular ones, but they did jump out for their commentary and inquiry into the nature of "God" in relation to humanity/physical life, and touch on ideas of forgiveness, the strength and wisdom of love, and desiring after truth.

"The Repentant Magdalene" (c.1635) and its sister painting "Magdalen(e) with the Smoking Flame" (c. 1640) by Georges de la Tour.

Jordi Savall - "Cristobal de Morales: Officium Defunctorum - Missa pro Defunctis - II. Invitatorium"
Arianna Dec 2018
"... afternoon sprawls, yawning
                                                stained-glass kaleidoscopes
                 through the shadowy silence,
                                          around the echoing pillars
                                of the cathedral, humming
        with a thousand voices for the thousand faces of Love..."
Ensemble Organum - "Jube Domine silentium": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Unn8WMn79qs

Also,

Ensemble Organum - "12th-century Polyphony of Aquitaine"

László Dobszay & Schola Hungarica - "Genealogia Christi"

Carlo Gesualdo - "Madrigals, Book VI" (performed by Ensemble Métamorphoses)

Palestrina - "Missa Papae Marcelli" (performed by The Tallis Scholars)
Arianna Dec 2018
The evening breathes softly in slumber,
Stirring the branches of the crepe myrtle
And the rose briers bared
Against the frost of the coming winter.

Searching for the bashful moon among the clouds
As the earth exhales,
What traces of the sea remain on the breeze?

                    None can I discern.

The letters of Petrarch glisten, black-on-white,
By the moonlight,
And hidden sing the troubadours of the hours late.

          Et il y a quelques siècles
          Depuis j’ai dansé le passamezzo,
          Mais ce soir, je suis émue
          À danser
          À nouveau.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3onO9ZG7io
Emma Nov 2018
I am a generic portrait of a renaissance woman.
You can find me in many paintings of my era, and I am beautiful.
My face is round, my skin is smooth, my mouth the shape of a rosebud where it perches beneath a small European nose.
I am standard, identical; I am the standard; I am undeniable.
But whatever happens around me, my face is emptier than the children who claw at my breast, the demons who hang down out of trees to whisper in my ear, the cherubs who hide my nakedness as I rise from the sea.
Whether I am a goddess or a peasant woman,
I am a cipher.
I am an enigma.
I am empty.
But more than empty, I am not meant to be filled.
I am just meant to hang there with vacant expression and tell no tales, even when what you see is meant to be my own.
I am silent, and silenced,
Through the centuries,
Voiceless.
juliet Nov 2018
nobody knew how much she’d broken her own heart.
it was cracked to *******
and so much pain she couldn’t bear
her smooth skin painted in tears
salty like the sea
and cold, and unforgiving like dismal melancholia
she walks across the room
tiptoeing like she’s treading on new snow
amanda reaches for the bottle
and drowns in
a saintship made of modern renaissance
veritas Oct 2018
if you kiss a statue in the dark,does
it leave a mark?like the moonlight's

cold stain on pale columns of necks and
thinner bones of knuckles,or like the

heavy-handed cracks on thighs and
mine own,leaking gold to match.it's

easy to admit a mistake in the dark
is
what you say,but marble lips leave

little space for contrition.there's irony

in that,in rennaisance-made lovers who
screamed for dominions and settled in

ash instead.history is adjusted,and the
cycle continues.but they left their jaws

open,and the light is pouring out.
the secrets that statues never tell us
Madeline Harper Aug 2018
We do not give up the Renaissance for an ardent lie
We do not rise to meet the gods only to be slain by the earth
Even time does not falter for every zealous eye
Even the heavens rise and fall in every death and rebirth
Faded gilding, rubbed through to cracking, flaking wood.
A glamour of ages, sliding, flies to the breeze.

The little bird perches on a once-fine moulding;
Head tilted, one bright eye turned towards the mantle
where a half-blind mercurised mirror barely reflects
an army of creeping vines, consuming ***** angels
and the God of this house.

Our hero’s velvets are ruined, dripping and eaten through.
Where riches have lived, decay succeeds.
Nature’s velvets; opulent mosses and emerald lichens
are devouring damask
and smoothing over marbled hardness.

The bird listens for footsteps.
The lady would scatter crumbs on the windowsill
and he would flutter, unafraid,
to peck at her sweet feast.

Once, she drew him.
Fine-lining passerine delicacy,
her pencils fetched him,
and bestowed him an artist’s nobility.
He turned, this way and that,
flashing gold-touched wings,
miming a duchess snapping open a fan.

She’s gone now,
and so have the crumbs.
The bird senses no sugar on the sill,
nor the faintest reminiscence
of lavender perfume, glittering as star bursts
at the hollow of her throat.

He sings regardless,
a mournful beauty
longing to return to a glorious, lustful age,
where light refracted in cut crystal,
danced upon frescoes
and illuminated the **** –
- to render them enchanting.

He swoops to dance on the mantle,
answered by the mirror
and sits a while, preening.

The gentlemen and ladies are gone forever.
Ejected from history to echo as ghosts of fancy and excess,
undeserving of remembrance or pity.

The bird will never forget.
And knots up secrets
kept tightly in his breast,
committed to his tiny, fierce heart.
The Goldfinch is my favourite bird - both owing to its numerous appearances in Renaissance art and as the silent protagonist in Donna Tartt's book bearing its name.
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