Sunday, June 18, 2017
The World of Leonardo (1452 – 1519)
Born in the town of Vinci in the Tuscan hills,
The bastard child of notary Piero da Vinci
With his woman, Caterina,
Leonardo was God’s gift to many a man.
A keen observer and lover of nature,
Thirsty for knowledge and talented for sure,
Soon a hardworking teen apprentice
To Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence.
A master moving to Sforza’s Milan thereafter,
Extending time and energies to music like an entertainer,
To weaponry, sculpture and scenography,
Mathematics, architecture, anatomy and geology.
How did his Last Supper come to be
On the wall of the Dominican monastery
Of Santa Maria delle Grazie?
A genius with powers so heavenly?
Back in Florence, Madonna Lisa posed for Leonardo,
Third wife of merchant Francesco di Bartolommeo del Giocondo,
Alas! La Gioconda or Mona Lisa or Woman was finished.
With an ever-intriguing, puzzling, delightful or dreadful grin.
Tired and friendless in Rome, Leonardo was passé
Not a Bramante, a Michelangelo or a Raphael,
Forever distracted by other inclinations,
Couldn’t bring anything to completion.
“Tell me if anything was ever done…”
Whispered his notes as an old man,
Painting his last: St. John, so mysterious
And drawing the world’s end: The Deluge.
To live a thinker until sixty-seven
And painted a little more than a dozen
So much unfinished, so much unaccomplished
In five hundred years, everything unexplained.
Such Heaven-sent, a mystic wonder
In a manor house at Cloux found shelter
Thanks to young King Francis I
For Leonardo’s wisdom, he searched.