La Belle Rose
Jon Gregory Presco
Dedicated to my Muse, Belle Burch
Poetry is the Truth
When I was a gifted youth
I do not recall if I studied the artist Sandro Botticelli.
When a man
I wrote my version of ‘The Birth of Venus’
and did a painting of my muse
coming out of the sea.
I must have neglected this great Renaissance Artist,
and his beloved Muse – until now!
But, Since I beheld her, my Belle
and compared her to Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia Vespucci,
do I now behold all the clues of the petals
and the thread
that have brought me through the labyrinth of time,
to adore her once again.
And she recognizes me!
Centuries ago I was buried at her feet
in order to continue my long vigilance,
for she was only asleep.
One day she will awaken, and the City of Flowers
will again bask in her unparelled beauty.
Bella! Mon Belle!
Following the Renaissance of the Miller Brothers
to the top of the hill in the lost city of Fairmount,
I came to the crossroads of time.
When I saw the intersection of Flora and Fairmount,
I knew it would be a matter of days
before I was with my Sleeping Belle, once again,
once upon a time
She is the one I came here for.
After finding the lost tombstone of George Melvin Miller,
the founder of Florence,
I began to see the grand design.
When she came across the piazza de Keasy
while the minstrel sang a song by the Grateful Dead
I had my rose at ready.
When I handed it to her
I heard the lovers complain
Where is my Belle Rose!
This is the Renaissance Rose
that my ancestor employed to write his name,
When I told Belle what kind of work I do,
I described my painting of a woman coming out of the sea.
Many have asked me who she is. Now, I can say;
“She is Belle, the most beautiful woman in Florence.”
We will go there, soon,
to behold the sea, a shell, and the foam
at La Giostra
a jousting tournament was held at the Piazza Santa Croce.
The gallant knight, Giuliano
entered the field bearing a banner
on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athene
Her image was painted by Botticelli himself.
Underneath was the French inscription
La Sans Pareille, meaning “The unparalleled one”.
From then on Simonetta became known
as the most beautiful woman in Florence,
the most beautiful woman of the Renaissance.
I salute thee!