?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "Fair Maiden Meets Fierce Villain" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Fair Maiden Meets Fierce Villain"

This poem came from the January 4, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by marina_bonomi.

"Fair Maiden Meets Fierce Villain" is a sequel to an earlier fishbowl poem, "Can She Bake a Scary Pie?" and again features Fiorenza.  One thing we learn in this episode is where she lives -- near the town of Fermo, about halfway up the east coast of Italy.  I also researched the plants of Italy, the variants of lavender, and the spice trade.  Fiorenza knows her stuff, so I have to keep up with her.  (Fortunately I'm into herb gardening too.)  Small concrete details, such as the hill of Fermo and the Spanish lavender, are what anchor these poems in a specific place and make the characters seem plausible.  Finally, the terza rima is a traditional Italian form.  When I write about a particular culture, I often choose a poetic form from the same source.

Fair Maiden Meets Fierce Villain
-- a terza rima


When Fiorenza went to Fermo Fair
She climbed the hill to view the countryside
And all the vendors situated there.

The market lanes were dusty, smooth and wide
With booths spread out as far as eye could see
And herbs from distant lands brought on the tide.

She chatted with the captains of the sea
And traded sprigs of rosemary and thyme
For peppercorns and cinnamon and tea.

The clock upon the hill began to chime
And Fiorenza clapped her slim brown hands
To find a Spanish trader in this clime.

She loved the herbs of all the different lands --
See here, a lavender of Spain, remote
And delicate in green and purple strands.

Too pale by half, the Spaniard eyed her throat
And bargained badly as the sun grew hot.
The herbalist looked closer, and took note.

Some maidens might be innocent but not
A young wise-woman traveling afield
Who'd handled worse already than this lot.

So Fiorenza thought what she might wield
Discreetly in the bustle of the fair
And force the fearsome villain yet to yield.

"I have a pizza pie that I can spare,
If I may take that lavender you hold,"
Said Fiorenza, tossing her black hair.

He grabbed for her.  The garlic knocked him cold.
The herbalist just laughed, and danced away.
"You're not much of a villain, truth be told!"

Her lavender was safe in potted clay,
Her spices in their basket neatly laid,
As Fiorenza went about her way.

So let that be a lesson to the trade,
Who should not underestimate a maid.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
eseme From: eseme Date: January 6th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha!

He seems to think he is fierce. But he's not so fierce (or at least not so smart).

What a nice market (aside from the one merchant). I'd like shopping there.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 6th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)

*laugh*

Well, he probably would've done fine against a Harlequin-style heroine. Against a smart, bold hera ... he didn't stand a chance. *ponder* Which rather makes me wonder if an older, more experienced, far more dangerous opponent will appear later.
eseme From: eseme Date: January 6th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: *laugh*

I would imagine so. Either he will spread the word, or his very absence will make the others wonder.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: January 6th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Another lovely one!I love Fiorenza, a determined, resourceful young countrywoman.She feels and sounds perfect for her setting.
My compliments for your choice of town, the Marche are a wonderful region, extremely beautiful and varied.

I'm hoping for a series on Fiorenza's adventures, just like it happened for our Origami Mage.
I'm curious, in which time period you see her?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 6th, 2011 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> Another lovely one! I love Fiorenza, a determined, resourceful young countrywoman.She feels and sounds perfect for her setting.<<

I'm happy to hear this. I like how the poem turned out.

>>My compliments for your choice of town, the Marche are a wonderful region, extremely beautiful and varied.<<

Yay! I was hoping it would be a good match. Just seemed like the right place when I went looking.

>>I'm hoping for a series on Fiorenza's adventures, just like it happened for our Origami Mage.<<

I'm certainly open to that. She's fun to explore. I like the fact that she's more alert and insightful than average, so things that would fool a lot of characters won't slow her down.

>>I'm curious, in which time period you see her?<<

I'm not entirely sure yet. Not modern, and not way ancient either. I think she's in an area that doesn't change rapidly -- rural places and small villages often have a timeless feel. Let's see, we know that the spice trade is active and shipping is a major activity. I believe those are sailing ships, and that Italy has its contemporary borders or something very similar. The church has a lot of influence, and herbalism is a prevailing form of health care -- but Fiorenza has a fine grasp of logic and may have more than personal discovery behind that. So probably this isn't earlier than the Renaissance, when methodical thought caught on.
siege From: siege Date: January 7th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

A suggestion for a future poem, perhaps looking over the diseases and disasters in Italy during the Renaissance, and learning what Fiorenza would do in those times... and the supernatural dangers she'd face, too. I keep thinking late Renaissance period, but perhaps middle would make more sense?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 7th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Hmm, that has potential.
cissa From: cissa Date: January 7th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent. :)
8 comments or Leave a comment