Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gopal Lahiri writes

Fall Furioso 

Just around the corner 

Dewey leaves and dawn mist

A leaf tumbles

From its weary branch

Gold and rust

It twists

Swirls and rocks

Vivid canvas 

Falls through the almost still.
Inhale the wind's breath.

Something of the fire almost

Amber to orange to red

In flame.

Say goodbye, 

strong breeze and a million cries

Reveal morsels of skin.

Another time

Another breeze touching first sound

Envious eyes on back.

Let that happen again

Let it be inhaled in the toasty warmth of

The parting fragrance 
 Image result for falling leaf painting
 A New Born Child Held Gently by a Falling Leaf -- MF Husain


  1. l(a

    --e.e. cummings

  2. Furioso is a musical direction meaning "with great force or vigor."
    "Orlando Furioso," an epic poem about the knight known in France as Roland, was written by Ludovico Ariosto (who coined the term "umanesimo" [humanism] to describe the artistic or intellectual focus on human strengths and potential rather than on human subordination to God, and whose play "I suppositi" was one of William Shakepeare's sources for "The Taming of the Shrew," while "Much Ado About Nothing" borrowed directly from "Orlando" and Jean de la Fontaine used the plots of some of "Orlando's bawdier episodes for three of his "Contes et Nouvelles en vers"). As duke Alfonso d'Este of Ferrara's governor of Garfagnana, Ariosto was abducted by a group of bandits, whose chief apologized for not having immediately shown him the respect due as the author of "Orlando Furioso." Ariosto began working on it around 1506, when he was 32, and it first appeared in 1516; a second edition appeared in 1521 with minor revisions. In the 1520s he produced five more cantos, but decided not to include in its third edition, which appeared in 1532; with 38,736 lines in 46 cantos, it was still one of the longest poems in European literature. (The additional cantos were posthumously published as "Cinque canti" by his illegitimate son Virginio.) The epic was a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's unfinished romance "Orlando Innamorato" (Orlando in Love), published posthumously in 1495, which had been composed for the amusement of his patron, duke Ercole d'Este of Ferrara. (Nicknamed "North Wind" and "The Diamond," by the time of his death in 1505 Ercole had made Ferrara one of Europe's chief cultural centers.) Ercole was followed by his son Alfonso I, the third husband of Lucrezia Borgia (the sister of Cesare Borgia; they were the illegitimate children of pope Alexander VI).

  3. Ariosto first came to the family's attention via Ercole's second son Ippolito, who was made the head of an abbacy at six and two years later named archbishop of Esztergom, thanks to his aunt Beatrix of Aragon, wife of king Hunyadi Mátyás of Hungary; at 14 Alexander made him a cardinal. When Ariosto visited Mantua in 1507 he read part of his masterpiece to Isabella, the older sister of Alfonso and Ippolito, and she informed Ippolito how much she had enjoyed both the poet and the poem; they enjoyed a lengthy and friendly correspondence, and Ariosto sent copies of the various editions of the poem to Isabella as gifts. Though Ariosto dedicated "Orlando Furioso" to the cardinal, his only compensation was the question, "Where did you find so many stories, Master Ludovico?" In fact Ippolito despised his poetry; he granted Ariosto a small pension because he acted as his ambassador, most notably on two diplomatic missions to pope Julius II, on one of which he acquired an illness from which he never recovered, and on the other was nearly killed by order of the pope, who was in conflict with Ferrara. When the two angrily went their separate ways in 1518, Arisoto continued as a courtier to Ippolito's older brother Alfonso. However, in the poem, he both praised the "liberal and magnanimous" Isabella by name (“A statue no less jocund, no less bright, / Succeeds, and on the writing is impressed; / Lo! Hercules’ daughter, Isabella hight, / In whom Ferrara deems city blest, / Much more because she first shall see the light / Within its circuit, than for all the rest / Which kind and favouring Fortune in the flow / Of rolling years, shall on that town bestow.”) and named a character after her: the daughter of the king of Galicia who fell in love with Zerbino, the pagan son of the king of Scotland. A year after Lucrezia Borgia married Alfonso she became the mistress of Isabella's husband marquess Francesco II Gonzaga of Mantua and bore him children until he contracted syphilis as a result of encounters with prostitutes. But Isabella became known as "The First Lady of the world" (as she was called by Niccolò da Correggio): able to speak Greek and Latin, she was a talented singer and lutist and an innovator of new dances, a perfume maker, a fashion maven whose "capigliari" style (dressing in caps and plunging décolletage) was imitated throughout Italy and at the French court, a patron of most of the age's most famous painters (Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, Raphael, Antonio da Correggio, Lorenzo Costa, Dosso Dossi, Francesco Francia, Giulio Romano), sculptors and medallists (Michelangelo, Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi (L’Antico), Gian Cristoforo Romano, Tullio Lombardo), composers (Bartolomeo Tromboncino, Marco Cara), and architects (Biagio Rossetti, Battista Covo), a correspondent with or in contact at court with prominent intellectual figures (Pietro Aretino, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Mario Equicola, Gian Giorgio Trissino), and was the model for many artists including Gian Cristoforo Romano, Titian ("Isabella in Red" and "Isabella in Black"), and Leonardo da Vinci (“Sketch for a Portrait of Isabella d’Este” and very possibly his "Mona Lisa"). She was also a skilled politician who led the defense of Mantua for three years while her husband was held hostage in Venice and then, acting as regent for their son, obtained the city's elevation to a duchy; and she negotiated with Cesare Borgia, who had dispossessed her sister-in-law Elisabetta Gonzaga's husband Guidobaldo da Montefeltro as duke of Urbino.

  4. The "Orlando" of Boiardo and Ariosto was a prequel to the 11th-century "Chanson de Roland," set against the background of the war between Charlemagne's Christian paladins and the Muslim invaders under king Agramante of Africa, whom Orlando would slay on the island of Lampedusa. Many themes were interwoven in the poem's complicated, episodic structure, but the most important were Orlando's unrequited love for the pagan princess Angelica, the daughter of king Galafrone of Cathay, and the love between the Saracen warrior Ruggiero and the female Christian warrior Bradamante, the supposed ancestors of the d'Este family. Ruggiero (who had originally appeared in the 12th-century French epic, "Aspremont") was the son of Ruggiero II of Reggio Calabria (descendaed from Hector of Troy's Astyanax) and Galaciella, the sister of Agramante. The African king had Ruggiero II murdered, and Galaciella fled to Libya, where she died after giving birth to twins, the hero Ruggerio and his sister Marfisa. The two children were separated in early childhood. Marfisa became the warrior queen of India and an ally of the Saracens at the siege of Albracca; she fell in love with Ruggiero, but the wizard Atlante, who raised Ruggiero, revealed their true relationship in a vision; then she converted to Christianity and joined Charlemagne's army. Ruggiero was raised in an invisible castle on Mt. Carena, and when Agramante declared war against the Franks, Atlante kept Ruggiero hidden until the thief Brunello was sent east to Cathay to steal from Angelica a magic ring that would remove all enchantments from the wearer's eyes. Thus was Ruggiero's location revealed, and he was recruited into the invading force. During the battle of Montalbano (Montauban), where Ruggiero had interrupted duels against Orlando and Bradamante's brother Rinaldo (who was also in love with Angelica), he fell in love with Bradamante.

  5. At the beginning of "Orlando Furiosa" Angelica escaped from the castle of the Bavarian duke Namo and Orlando set off in pursuit. Rinaldo and Angelica drank from magic fountains twice, each time leaving one madly in love and the other indifferent. Ruggiero rescued Angelica from being sacrificed to a water-dwelling orc and gave her a ring of invisibiilty, which she used to elude the love-crazy Orlando. After one of Zerbino's knights wounded Medoro, Angelica nursed him back to health and eloped with him to Cathay. In despair Orlando went mad, laid aside his crest and arms, arrayed himself in a suit of black armor, and rampaged through Europe and Africa, destroying everything in his path. Zerbino, who had been saved from execution by Orlando and Isabella, searched for him but found only his arms and armor. After insisting that Isabella not kill herself to join him, Zerbino died of his wounds. King Rodomonte of Sarza and Algiers attempted to rape her, but she convinced him that she could make an elixir that would make him invincible for month, then applied it to herself and taunted Rodomonte to test it; thus she tricked him into beheading her. Rodomonte swore that her name would always be remembered, another nod to Ariosto’s patroness, and built a bridge in her memory, forcing all who cross it to pay tribute. When Orlando "naked and mad" arrived at the bridge, Rodomonte threw him into the river, but Orlando managed to swimn ashore. Later, Rodomonte was bested at the bridge by Bradamante. To find a cure for Orlando's madness, his cousin, the English knight Astolfo, traveled to Ethiopia on a hippogriff and then, in the flaming chariot of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, flew to the moon, where everything lost on earth, including Orlando's wits, can be found. He took Orlando's sanity back in a bottle and made him sniff it, causing him to both regain his rationality and lose his infatuation for Angelica. Meanwhile, after Bradamante rescued Ruggiero from Atlante's new protective imprisonment, a hippogriff took him to an island east of India, where the enchantress Alcina held him captive and made him forget Bradamante until he was rescued, at Bradamente's instigation, by the sorceress Melissa, the guardian of Merlin's tomb, only to be trapped in another of Atlantes’ magical fortresses. Bradamante set out to rescue him again but was trapped by Atlantes’ spell until Astolpho arrived and freed the two lovers. After converting to Christianity Ruggiero married Bradamante, but Rodomonte appeared at the wedding feast and challenged Ruggiero to a duel. The poem ended with Rodomonte's death.

  6. Thanks for your wonderful thoughts and reference. I am humbled.

  7. It is simply amazing and the erudite remarks with certain
    interventions make it impressive.
    The flow surprises and one loves to be part of nature.
    So good. Congrats.

  8. Thanks P C K Prem for your kind words


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