Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Man Afraid?


Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

Nat ‘King’ Cole sang about you
"Mystic lady with the lovely smile"
It has been said
That men fell at your feet
And died there

Did men literally fall at your feet,
Are you who they say you are?
Or are you really
Caterina, Da Vinci’s mother
Or Isabella D’este?

Or is the mystery that you are
A well disguised self portrait?
Of the very artist
Showing the feminine side
Of a man afraid?

Barbara M Lake
March 2011
Trinidad WI


  1. Oh, yes, B! What a very good and clever question there at the end!

  2. Love this! The lady with the enigmatic smile is destined to be an eternal mystery. And you have captured that intrique so well.

  3. I expected many more references to Nat King Cole's song. So you have scored a notable first. With a notable poem.
    PS No Magpie references to the film "Mona Lisa" either, far as I can see.

  4. Or just an exercise in circles? Good poem, Bee. I just could not tackle it because Art History courses made me a skeptic about this famous painting.

    Well, next week.

  5. Many interesting questions. I guess we'll never know the truth.

  6. This was very good! Love that Nat Cole standard...and love the questions. Great job. vb

  7. I'm with J B-B! The most interesting question is "Is it a particularly good painting?"
    I read a telling comment on one of the Magpies which said something like "Is it famous for being well known?"
    Your poem poses telling questions.

  8. The questions only add to the mystery of the smile...

  9. WT has been whistling the Mona Lisa song all week. She is wrapped in delicious enigma. Wonderful piece, Bee.

  10. The Mona Lisa was Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Francesco.
    She probably didn't really break any hearts.
    She was just as boring a housewife as me.
    Anyway, that's what I tell myself.

  11. Thank you everyone for visiting and leaving great comments. ML it is said, was the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo who supposedly commissioned the painting although there are no records in Da Vinci's papers to say that the portrait had been commissioned at all. There are many theories but what we do know is that Da Vinci took four years to complete the painting which may account for the sitter's look of 'boredom'. I still stand by my first take on this Mag where I said she had bad teeth!

    I have to admit that I have never understood the hype that surrounds this painting! Maybe if I was Italian............


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