Damn that Caravaggio

I spent a lot of this evening trying (unsuccessfully–there’s a big surprise) to write a poem about Caravaggio’s Victorious Amor.  When that didn’t happen, I turned alternately to The School of Fountainebleau’s Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters (c. 1595), but gave up in disgust, and then turned to the much more interesting painting The Green Turban (1931), by the Polish Art Deco artist and Garbo-esque Socialite (which, yes, is an oxymoron, but she tried to cultivate that persona) Tamara de Lempicka.  I couldn’t find an image of it to show you, but here is a sampling of her art, which is fantastic.  Alas, that poem wasn’t working either. 

I finally settled on Guido Reni’s David and Goliath (1607) and the poem is about as inspired as the subject.  Which is to say, not very.

The sad thing is, I have to come back to these pictures at some point, and I’m generally dissatisfied with the rest of postcards in the book.  Maybe I’m just grumpy.  The de Lempicka picture is amazing, and I didn’t want to ruin my experience of the picture by writing a dreadful poem, so that one had to be abandoned for the time being.

But it’s that damn Caravaggio that has put me out of sorts.  Let’s be honest, I think I hate it.  To refresh your memory, it looks like this.  When I look at Cupid’s face, I just want to smack those red cheeks till they’re purple.  And then, I want to pluck out his feathers one by one and jam them into his ugly crooked teeth.  Surely Caravaggio would be horrified to know his art inspires violence in me.  But that said, Caravaggio himself was a rougue and killed and brawled with people, so maybe he’d enjoy my response.

And maybe I just need to set that postcard aside.  Permanently.

6 thoughts on “Damn that Caravaggio

  1. Aha, that lascivious angel, again!

    I know it sounds silly or possibly straight out of the uninspiring pages of a how-to-write-poetry book, but why not write your poem in the frustrated voice in which you wrote this post?

    I did a similar thing this week. For a long time, I have been wanting to write a poem about the Shrike (a carnivorous bird whose name and dark behaviour fascinates me), but I was disheartened to discover that we don’t have them in Australia. Learning this really deflated my creative balloon, but came upon a satisfactory way to solve the problem.

    I wrote about my jealousy regarding the poets of the countries in which the Shrike lives. Sounds lame, but it worked well.

    Stick it to that toothy seraph!

    • Benjamin, I think that’s a really great idea. I could try it at any rate. Not sure that an angsty “I hate Caravaggio” poem would turn out well, but the picture is going to bother me and bother me until I write it.

      Also, I’m going to investigate the shrike. I’m intrigued!

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