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  1. #1
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    Michelangelo Prose

    Hi guys.

    I found this in the back of a book I am reading, "Il Gigante" by Anton Gill. It is an interesting book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Renaissance history. Anyway, I thought some folks here might like the poem.

    With heart of sulphur and flesh of tow,
    With bone designed of dry and rotting wood,
    With spirit lacking any guide to show
    Which impulses are evil and which good,
    With reason which displays itself so weak
    Confronted with a world so full of snares,
    It is no wonder that my flesh should break
    When it first stumbles on such furious fires.
    With glorious art - that gift received from heaven-
    That conquers nature and in every way
    Clings to all human longing and desire;
    If such a gift I truly have been given
    And yet, divided, torn, still burn and stray,
    He is to blame who fashioned me for fire.


    Happy drawing

    -K.I.D.


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  3. #2
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    I don't understand it.

  4. #3
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    That's okay. I'm not sure I understand the entire poem either. What parts do you not understand??

    I think Michelangelo is writing about the struggle of the artist to express oneself. I believe he is comparing artistic inspiration to fire, and saying that if he cannot adequately bring to life his vision, and "burns" himself in the process, it is his creator's fault for giving him the fire to begin with.

    However, I'm just taking it at face value. It would be interesting to know what he was going through when he wrote that.

    Best,

    K.I.D.

  5. #4
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    He's talking about God and wondering why he's here in a world full of snares and the fact that his path is fashioned for hell. He's wondering how such a heavenly gift of art could be given to him, yet he still must deal with the struggles and snares of life. It sems that he finds some salvation in his art.

    - Visions

  6. #5
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    It seems like he's mixing Biblical and Greek mythology. "sulfur" and brimstone are traditionally linked with hell, and "tow" could be a reference to the three fates. Moses bans the use of making images in the likeness of God but Michelangelo has represented God in the Vatican of all places, so image making/being an artist becomes a sin and is linked with hell/fire. Michelangelo also accepted Platonic ideals, that the physical world is a corruption of a divine idea, that idea can't make itself known in life but can be given form in art, "world full of snares" which would be the falseness of appearances and "conquering nature" tell me that. The best I can understand it is as a rumination of these concepts, but I'm unable to translate or piece together the actual poem. I feel like I'm only speculating at it's meaning. It seems that he finds a terrible contradiction between these two ideas one that says image making is a sin and one that says art can reveal the divine ideal, they can't both be right it seems.
    This would have been a better topic for the Art Discussion Forum, which I didn't even know existed until recently.

  7. #6
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    I don't need to understand it all, I love it.
    *goes quiet*



    Hey psst, let's make a poetry of CA thread..? I think a lot of us have some poems lying around which they wrote
    Love
    Marleen

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando
    Moses bans the use of making images in the likeness of God but Michelangelo has represented God in the Vatican of all places, so image making/being an artist becomes a sin and is linked with hell/fire.
    How awful. I wonder, knowing that Michelangelo was a very religious person, if he felt guilty for being an artist.

    There was a production artist at my last job who had been raised to believe that art was sinful. That sounds abusive to me. It is amazing how long ideas like that can be perpetuated.

    I thought about posting this in the Art Discussion forum...but it didn't look very active, so I thought I would post it here and a moderator would move it if they felt it is wasn't appropriate. LOL. Conceptart has so many forums it is sometimes hard to decide where to put what.

    Have a good morning all.

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    I, instead, wonder how Michelangelo managed to write a poetry in good modern english and with a perfect chained rhyme...
    The greatest pictorial value lies in all the things the camera cannot do.

    my animavatar

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    Hehe good one Azza
    I guess it could be freely translated?

    It's still nice though.
    love
    Marleen

  11. #10
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    K.I.D.: The Catholic church did allow image making by the way. In medieval times paintings were used to teach scripture to the illiterate, and in the Renaissance the church was one of the biggest customers of artists. I should have written that part you quoted differently. In Northern Europe the Religion was Protestantism, and at some point(I forgot exactly when) they no longer commisioned representational imagery of religious figures, and that's when landscape paintings first started appearing(E.H. Gombrich "The Story of Art"). I'm only speculating that that could have been one of the meanings of the poem, I figure Michelangelo being truely religious would have studied the Bible. I've been meaning to look through some Michelangelo biographies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando
    Moses bans the use of making images in the likeness of God but Michelangelo has represented God in the Vatican of all places, so image making/being an artist becomes a sin and is linked with hell/fire.
    *erupts in laughter* BWAAHAAHAAHAAA good one. But wrong religious branch.

    Azza, I wondered the same thing. I don't know how to count verse er.. feet in English but are these alexandrins ?

  13. #12
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    That was a worthless post as are many in the Lounge. I assume you're meaning is that I'm mistaking Christianity with Judaism. Christianity maintains many of the traditions of Judaism, Christians are incouraged to study both old and new testament. The 10 Commandments were part of the old Law which Jesus implicitly stated he wasn't changing, which is in the book of Matthew "Teaching about the Law". Note also that I said that I didn't understand the poem and was only speculating on my answer. You're a fool.

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    Talking

    Personal attacks never help credibility.
    Anyhow, the idea of artist from the renaissance feeling guilty or being perceived as sinful for depicting God struck me as outlandish. Is it only applicable to God or to Christ too ? The glasswork of cathedrals tried to depict the holy trinity as well and I donít recall hearing anything about it being taboo. Islam, on the other hand, really went all the way when it comes to forbidden depiction of any kind, which in effect pushed mathematicians and graphic artists to the extreme (and an vast number of amazing works!).
    Getting back to the subject at hand, I think this poem is a bad attempt to reinforce the mythos of <pedestal> Michaelangelo </pedestal> through bad, contemporary writing. And people buy into it like the Da Vinci Code Iím sure He was an enlightened dude, who probably had his moments of doubt and inner struggle, but who was still just another man.



    PS: My English is average at best, sorry if things are lost in translation / communication problems blah blah waffle blah.

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    Oh my. I didn't intend to start fights here guys.

    Armando, the E.H. Gombrich book is a really good one. I've been looking for some decent books on Michelangelo, but I haven't found many yet. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. Mostly I come across the bargain books at B&N that are just poor quality pictures and no info. There was one I found at school, and I had it checked out for about a year and half. (I'd buy a used copy, but it isn't inexpensive). The title was "Michelangelo the Draftsman". All it had in it were his drawings. Wow. Good stuff.

    Egerie, no disrespect intended here, but if you correct someone, it is helpful to explain yourself a little better. Which religious branch do you believe Armando was mistaken with?

    I don't think anyone was saying that an artist would feel guilty for depicting G-d, but for creating artwork in first place. I had learned that artwork was prohibited (long before the greeks) because it was an attempt by the artist to be G-d-like. G-d like in the sense that the artist was trying to "create" something new...a job only the creator could perform.

    "Getting back to the subject at hand, I think this poem is a bad attempt to reinforce the mythos of Michaelangelo through bad, contemporary writing. And people buy into it like the Da Vinci Code."
    -Egerie

    Umm...Michelangelo wrote the poem. I don't know whose translation Anton Gill used. Are there any artists you admire Egerie??

    Best,

    K.I.D.

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    If Michelangelo were alive today would he be a punk rocker or a death metalhead?

    -Chris

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    a sculptor, since it's what he intended to be. Couriously, he ended more known for his paintings than his sculptures
    The greatest pictorial value lies in all the things the camera cannot do.

    my animavatar

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    I mean't his choice in music...not his profession...

    -Chris

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoŽ
    I don't need to understand it all, I love it.
    *goes quiet*



    Hey psst, let's make a poetry of CA thread..?
    Do it, you know you wanna (and yes, I actually have some lying around.... )

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