Friday, May 9, 2008

A Poem

Below you will find a poem by Michelangelo Buonarroti that has recently been a favorite at the Ryder Studio. Enjoy!

You have a face more beautiful than a turnip,
Sweeter than mustard; it appears the snail
Has walked on it, it shines so; like a parsnip
The whiteness of your teeth is, and like treacle
The color of your eyes; surely the Pope
To such as this must be susceptible,
Whiter and blonder than a leek your hair;
So I shall die if I don't get your favor.

I think your beauty much more beautiful
Than ever in a church a painted man,
And your mouth is just like a pocketful
Of beans, it seems to me, and so is mine.
Your eyebrows seem dyed in a crucible,
And more than a Syrian bow they twine.
Your cheeks are red and white when you sift flour,
Like fresh cheese and poppies mixed together.

And when I look upon you and each breast,
I think they're like two melons in a satchel,
And then I am like straw, and start to flash,
Although I am bent and broken by the shovel.
Think, if my lovely cup I still possessed,
I'd follow you past others like a beagle,
And if I thought that getting it was possible,
Here and today I'd do something incredible.

From the Complete Poems and Selected Letters of Michelangelo, pp 11-12, translated by Creighton Gilbert.


Anonymous said...

Michelangelo must have come up with something more uplifting than this. Lets aim a little higher.

krista said...

Hi anonymous,

Michelangelo did come up with some really good poetry as well, and of course his art speaks for itself! What we liked about this particular poem was that it showed his sense of humor. I'll try to post another poem later this month to provide balance.