DIVISA IN PARTES TRES

All Gaul is divided in three parts.
~ Gaius Julius Caesar from “Commentarii de Bello Gallico”

My youthful steps were led to Rome, where yet the false gods lied to man. (1)
Follow where I lead, and thou shalt see the spirits in pain. (1)
Beauty in a virtuous woman’s face makes eyes yearn, and strikes the heart. (1)
This heaven-born woman stays frozen; like the snow in shadow (1)
Her beauty has more virtue than rare stone. (1)

There is a gentle thought that often springs to life in me… (1)
‘Who is this’ the mind enquires of the heart, ‘who comes to seduce our intellect? (1)
I plunge in thought to where my heart, frightened, pulls back. (2)
A voice from the inner depth of spirit shakes the certitudes of thought (2)
Beauty still shone in your sidelong, laughing eyes,
and you, light and thoughtful went beyond girlhood’s limits. (2)
Under the sheets of passion you call me. (4)
In brutal nights we used to dream, dense violent dreams. (3)
The dream I dream is just a dream, (4)
How alone in the space that’s still yours (6)

This is a man who labors in mud,
who knows no peace,
who fights for a crust of bread,
who dies at a yes or no. (3)
I haven’t dispossessed anyone,
haven’t usurped anyone’s bread. (3)
Sun-bordered clouds migrate from your eyes to my core, (5)
fragrant whispers from your skin are open windows. (5)
Today, you confront me and break into my heart (6)
You take me to you, you from whom I wrongly withdrew (6)
Love is a shield against sadness, a silent stair in the gloom. (6)
All roads lead to Rome. (7)

CENTO compiled by Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

***Notes: The three part aspect of this prompt immediately drew me to the inference by Caesar. I wanted to use only lines from Italian poets in this to belie the romance of Italy and encompass the whole of “Gaul”. Used in this CENTO are lines from (1) Dante Alighieri, (2) Giacomo Leopardi, (3) Primo Levi, (4) Salvatore Butacci, (5) Anna Piutti, (6) Salvatore Quasimodo and (7) Roman Idiom. The three stanzas are representative of the “partes tres” (three parts).

Written in compliance to QUICKLY IN SEPTEMBER P.A.D. – Day 3: 3) PARTS

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12 thoughts on “DIVISA IN PARTES TRES

  1. An every man’s story, oh, great bearded one.
    I think I made it more difficult than it was meant to be.
    I usually don’t play the cento game. I hope I played it with some grace.

    1. Jules, you’re a very good writer. There’s no doubt you’re in the ball park with your effort. I enjoy the challenge of piecing lines together to say something different. As for the “bearded one”, Salvatore Butacci – teacher, mentor, and all around good egg is to whom De and I are referring. An exceptional poet and one of my favorite “Italian” wordsmiths.

  2. Interesting poem, Walt. I must confess I had no idea this form, the Cento – “patchwork” -, existed until I read your poem, so thanks for sharing. I love all and every line, but my favorite one is ‘Who is this’ the mind enquires of the heart, ‘who comes to seduce our intellect?’. Also the smart connection between the beginning and the end, “My youthful steps were led to Rome”…”All roads lead to Rome” 🙂
    Well done!

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