creative writing french poetry Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1390 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Poetry

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[. . .] " It is true, "nought shall fade" as here we stand gazing upon her sumptuous antiquites. I dislike truly the English term "ruins," for they suggest something that has been ruined, destroyed, and which is no longer gorgeous, which is not the way I feel about Rome at all. Thankfully, Rebhorn understands that when he says about me: "Du Bellay thus chooses to write sonnets because they allow him to present Rome as his imperial mistress, to elevate her through praise, and to lament the absolute separation between her spirit and his that her death has brought about," (612). One day our monarchy too, may die, giving rise to a new form of government that works completely differently -- but who am I to say? I am just a poet.

For me, the culture of Rome is absolute, complete in its essence, encapsulating the highest aspirations of the human spirit. This is why I have produced "a series of blazons celebrating her grandeur and uniqueness and elevating her into a goddess," (Rebhorn 612). The time period in which Imperial Rome flourished was a pre-Christian era, a time when the pagan gods still held sway, and did not detract from the sensibilities and aesthetics of the culture in the least. In fact, I could argue that Christianity could itself be responsible for her demise, were it not for the evidence flooding in right now, during the Renaissance, that Italy can flourish once more in the realm of the arts and culture. Our own arts here in France may also flourish accordingly. As Christianity has permeated our worldview, inspiring grandiose works of Catholic power, I can see the similarities between these edifies both at home here in France and Italy. More importantly, I see how our cathedrals, testifying to the political, social, and economic dominance of the Church, will one day come to resemble those crumbling buildings of our "brave City," Rome: the cathedrals of today are just the antiquites of tomorrow.

The church and its collusion with the crown has generated a system of exploitative wealth and power. I feel ambiguous about this power and its system of wealth generation and centralization, as I have benefitted directly from this system but I recognize its faults, too. Rebhorn cleverly points out, "Rome's spirit, which Du Bellay so admires, is also a 'daemon' (27), an ambiguous term that might well suggest the demonic to Christian ear," (617). I completely concur; Rome and France are both daemons and saints, they fulfill the perfectly paradoxical roles that we poets seem to love because they allow us to write incessantly. The types of businesses we now have might be quite similar from those in ancient Rome, as we remain dependent on world trade: "Long as her Ship to with so many Freaks, / Had all the World in Arms against her bent, /Was never seen, that any Fortune's Wreaks." We sometimes forget how much we now owe to our forebears in Rome and Greece, for they are the ones laying the foundation for seafaring exploration, encounters with foreign cultures, and world trade with those who could otherwise have become our enemies. Even as we contend with insurrections around the world, with the encroachment of those who would see us prematurely fall into the realm of antiquites, I only ask that my readers recognize my goal with sonnets like "Les Antiquites de Rome." I at once celebrate the grandeur of our civilizations, and I also offer caveat. I warn you to take stock of where our power comes from, and how it is wielded. I also call attention to the role of the arts in delivering messages of liberation to the people.

Works Cited

Du Bellay, Joachim. "Les Antiquites de Rome." Digital, searchable version: http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/Textrecord.php?textsid=117

Rebhorn, Wayne A. "Du Bellay's Imperial Mistress: Les Antiquitez de Rome as Petrarchist Sonnet Sequence." Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Winter, 1980), pp. 609-622. [END OF PREVIEW]

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