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Friday, 1 April 2011

La Gioconda

The Mona Lisa seen at Magpie Tales


When Leonardo painted me
he knew he'd backed a winner.
This smile was his, not mine,
somehow it got transferred,
as if the corners of my mouth
and eyes and all expressive bits
were his, reflected in the paint.

And well might he be smiling,
he'd made the market his all right,
him with his chiaroscuro,
dark and light, paint modulated,
making me sophisticated,
sculpted. Then his sly sfumato:
forms meld to ambiguity.

The influence of opposites!
The power of imprecision!
His clients couldn't get enough -
and yet he gave as much to that
old misty landscape at my back
as ever he put into me!
That's why my eyes have followed him,

that's why I wear this rueful grin.



Rachel Green said...

Delightful, Dave. If only we knew!

Gerry Snape said...

Why can't we do it also? that's the big question with someone like Leonardo!! Thankyou for another goodie Dave.

Louise said...

A goodie alright, like the take on the prompt!!

Tabor said...

It has been most interesting to see others interpretation of these writing exercise.

Titus said...

Good one! Loved the 'sly sfumato' and the unexpected half-rhyme at the end which really nails the artist, and the poem.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying all the different takes on this prompt. Well-crafted, learned a few new words as well.

Thanks for stopping by~

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Dave - surely you wrote this tongue in cheek. It reminded me a bit of last Autumn when David and I stood in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch in Amsterdam and David said he didn't know what all the fuss was about, it was only a lot of self-important old men who had paid to have their portraits painted!!

Kass said...

Oh so titillating.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Years ago I wrote a poem on La Gioconda. I am going to put it in my blog, it's not at all sprightly as this poem of yours though.

Bagman and Butler said...

I always wondered about the smile (like everyone else) - you have solved the mystery of the ages!

Tess Kincaid said...

Excellent. Chiaroscuro is THE word!

Rose said...

Bravo! A plausible narration of an age old mystery! An enjoyable read:)

Tumblewords: said...

Rueful. Ah, yes, the rueful smile. The perfect word!

Lydia said...

I absolutely love this impression of the work as seen from your eyes as seen through her eyes as seen through his eyes. It is a marvelous magpie.

Dave King said...

Ah, well, yes. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I keep wondering that... very odd. There must be a reason, if only I could think of it! Thanks for the comment.

120 Socks
Thanks. Encouraging.

I thought likewise. I try not to read other responses until I've at least drafted mine. It's always fascinating then to do the rounds, so to speak.

A. Wondrous. Soul.
Hi and welcome to my blog. Many thanks for visiting and for your comment.

Weaver of Grass
I wasn't sure until I read it through, but then, yes, I did think I'd had my tongue in my cheek. Dav id was spot on, though. (As were you - they're not mutually exclusive positions.)

Thanks so much

Dave King said...

I shall read it with interest. Sprightly? I like that. Thanks.

Bagman and Butler
So much in this life comes back to sex and jealousy, I find!

Indeed it is. Thanks.

Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

That pleases me. I half expected objections to it, so much thanks!

Hi and a warm welcome to you. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Great to have the feedback.

izzy said...

I have to say, beyond technique and colors, I have never liked this portrait.
So I am glad to read your take on it.
Most portraits, like 'still life' do little for me. Thanks for visiting!

Helen said...

You know? I never thought of that grin as rueful .. in fact it does appear to be just that.

Carl said...


Sue J said...

Great description of a well-known painting. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


Marinela said...

Excellent :)
Short Poems

MuseSwings said...

You've caught Mona Lisa's smile in your poem! "And yet he gave as much to that old misty landscape...as he ever put into me. Perfection in a line!

Anonymous said...

nice stuff