L’aura

I murmur. “She inspired the splendid thought
Which points to heaven and teaches honest eyes
All worldly lures and winnings to despise:”
Sonnet XII


There is no word quite so unreal
As perfect outside paradise, for I
A mortal maid full-fleshed, shall die
Pure skin will pock like orange peel
Age strips bare the gold ideal
And all fine words do speechify.
Declaim some truth and dignify
This form with lines much less genteel
You crave the laurels in my name
More than bedded breath of woman
Secrete some sex in female frame
Here down on earth, you’re fallen man:
My aura is not saint nor shame
Come cool your ardour with this fan

Being playful with a Petrarch sonnet (ABBAABBACDCDCD) and his idolisation of Laura de Noves, as Frank prompts us to compose a poem in 14 lines- as perfection of sonnet but not necessarily so!!
[Image source - Petrarch and Laura - Ashmoleum Museum ]

32 Comments on “L’aura

  1. Good response to Sonnet XII and observation: “You crave the laurels in my name
    More than bedded breath of woman”.

    I like your offering of the fan at the end to cool the ardour of the fallen man.

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  2. Oh I love the irony in this response… sometimes the sweetness of a sonnet can be a bit overwhelming and you need to bite back a bit. Maybe this answer is the reason for Sonnet 130… sooner or later the old man matured.

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  3. Oh, well done! I love how you’ve given Laura a voice, and how she reminds him (us) that she was (pockmarked) flesh and blood, not some idealized version of a woman.

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    • thank you Merril – Laura must have found it tiresome being on the receiving end of all that distant ‘hands off’ adoration –

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  4. It’s so much fun playing with words and sonnets, Laura, and I love that you’ve written yours from the perspective of a not so perfect mortal Laura. I remember seeing that picture at the Ashmolean. Such gorgeous colours in it – and I was interested to see what Petrarch and Laura looked like, if it is indeed a true likeness. I smiled at these lines:
    ‘And all fine words do speechify.
    Declaim some truth and dignify
    This form with lines much less genteel’.
    It also reminds me of The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd by Sir Walter Raleigh. 😉

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    • it was fun to do and came quite naturally perhaps because his Muse and I share the same name and someone gave me Petrarch sonnets to read some years ago –
      I like the Raleigh reference – thank you

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  5. Nice job–wow, it is sonnet city out here on the trail tonight. I even wrote one, prefaced by twin tankas. Your piece captures the classic feel of the form.

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  6. So good and so witty – loved the pun on ‘…Secrete some sex in female frame’ and a great earthy reply to Petrarch’s overwrought highfalutin-ness.

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    • well-said Peter – have not heard ‘high falutin’ for a long time (had to search out the derivation – prob high fluting – too much playing on the high notes perhaps?!)

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  7. kaykuala

    My aura is not saint nor shame
    Come cool your ardour with this fan

    Agreed Laura, an invitingly friendly gesture playfully extended

    Hank

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  8. I really like your first line… There is no word quite so unreal As perfect outside paradise,

    The reality of your poem shows how true this is, and yet people spend a lifetime trying to achieve and maintain perfection… How foolish! In the end it all goes up in smoke!!

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  9. I also liked “my aura is not saint or shame.” Soooo tired of the madonna/prostitute thing
    Very clever (and sadly) timely.

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