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Poem: "Fiorenza and the Sea" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "Fiorenza and the Sea"

This poem came out of the January 17, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by minor_architect and sponsored by laffingkat.  The villanelle is a traditional form; its roots lie in Italian and Spanish dancing songs, and later in French literary poetry.


Fiorenza and the Sea
-- a villanelle


How Fiorenza wonders at the sea
That swallowed up her father long ago --
Is it so fine a thing, so truly free?

Her mother gave her roots, a place to be.
Would Marietta scorn, if she could know,
How Fiorenza wonders at the sea?

Her father gave her dreams, that absentee
Who never came back home to watch her grow.
Is it so fine a thing, so truly free?

Sometimes she sits and watches from the quay
The waves in Fermo's harbor, to and fro --
How Fiorenza wonders at the sea!

She leaves the sea behind, no devotee.
Her village calls her home; she's glad to go.
Is it so fine a thing, so truly free?

She loves her home too much to wish to flee.
It matters not how calling winds may blow,
How Fiorenza wonders at the sea:
It's not so fine a thing, to be too  free.

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Comments
laffingkat From: laffingkat Date: January 18th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so pleased that you wrote a villanelle, and I think it worked really well here. You can feel the pull of both her mother and her father's influence (a bit like the forces creating the tides), but this poem does a wonderful job of showing just how grounded Fiorenza is. I sometimes wish I could plant myself a little more firmly in the here and now.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 19th, 2012 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>I'm so pleased that you wrote a villanelle, and I think it worked really well here.<<

I'm happy to hear that. I enjoy this form, and I've been trying to include some Italian forms in this series.

>> You can feel the pull of both her mother and her father's influence (a bit like the forces creating the tides),<<

Yay! That was one of my goals with this piece. Fiorenza makes her own choices.

>> but this poem does a wonderful job of showing just how grounded Fiorenza is. I sometimes wish I could plant myself a little more firmly in the here and now.<<

She has the advantage of being in a culture that supports that. We really don't. Community isn't something that one person can build; it takes teamwork. And it's community that contributes to that sense of being grounted, planted, rooted.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 27th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>> but this poem does a wonderful job of showing just how grounded Fiorenza is. I sometimes wish I could plant myself a little more firmly in the here and now.<<

She has the advantage of being in a culture that supports that. We really don't. Community isn't something that one person can build; it takes teamwork. And it's community that contributes to that sense of being grounted, planted, rooted.

---I agree. The poem is extremely well done.
I'd never heard of this form of poetry before now. Shows you how little I know about poetry in general thanks to the public school system's being anally fixiated on grammer and vocabulary to the exclusion of nearly all else.
America does call itself the land of second chances and startings-over. I imagine that it's far harder to do in a culture with that firm mind-set of being "grounded, planted, rooted" as you call it.

I wish you'd explore this topic further.
:)

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 28th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>I'd never heard of this form of poetry before now.<<

I'm happy to introduce you! Definitely go read "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." It's a classic.

>> Shows you how little I know about poetry in general thanks to the public school system's being anally fixiated on grammer and vocabulary to the exclusion of nearly all else. <<

Well, it leaves you a lot of fun stuff to discover on your own, or with help.

>>America does call itself the land of second chances and startings-over. I imagine that it's far harder to do in a culture with that firm mind-set of being "grounded, planted, rooted" as you call it.<<

It can be harder to start over in a more rooted culture, but it's still possible. Ercole has, for instance; he had to.

>>I wish you'd explore this topic further.<<

The grounded part, the starting over part, or something else? Feel free to jot it down and prompt me for it in fishbowls. If you have favorite motifs, I'm happy to exercise them.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: October 28th, 2012 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I will try to remember to do so!
Thanks for the link.
:)
From: minor_architect Date: January 18th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice! I'm glad to see this poem sponsored. :)
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: January 18th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoy villanelles, and I like this one quite a bit.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 18th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

The villanelle is one of my favorite forms.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 18th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

actually Cat Sanctuary

Nice villanelle, but the timing makes the last line sound ominous! Glad it got sponsored though. I may want to come back to it and write a long philosophical piece about the difference between freedom and mere irresponsibility.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 19th, 2012 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: actually Cat Sanctuary

Thank you! I'm glad you liked this.

By all means, feel free to add your thoughts on freedom vs. irresponsibility. I think it's awesome when people are inspired by my poetry. If it's really long, though, post in your own blog or other venue and comment with a link here -- you'd probably have more room than the comment box allows.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: January 18th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, well done! One hears the waves in this one. And it's a great glimpse into Fiorenza's mind and soul.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 18th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>One hears the waves in this one.<<

Now that I look at it, yes, the rhythm and repetition do create that effect.

>> And it's a great glimpse into Fiorenza's mind and soul. <<

Unlike most of the serial poems, this one is really more of a meditation than a story. It has a sequence of events (Fiorenza sits looking at the sea, and then goes home) but it's really about what she's thinking rather than what she's doing. A perspective on a particular theme, the pros and cons of freedom, choices to stay or go, liberty and responsibility and connection.
Claudia Schönfeld From: Claudia Schönfeld Date: October 27th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)

you did a great job...

working on that contrast with the wondering about the freedom of the sea and the small village...with both her father's and mother's heart beating in her...which will be stronger on the long haul i wonder...
claudia of jaywalkingthemoon.wordpress.com
Brian Miller From: Brian Miller Date: October 27th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

villanelle

it is a choice we all face isnt it...the freedom and its dangers and home and its safety...who is to say which is the better...we all have to listen to our hearts...

glad you joined in.

http://www.waystationone.com
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 27th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: villanelle

>> it is a choice we all face isnt it...the freedom and its dangers and home and its safety...who is to say which is the better...we all have to listen to our hearts... <<

Yes, and for some it's a choice we revisit every day.
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