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Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 6 ...

The Miracle of the Eucharist, Stefano de Giovanni del Sassetta
The Blessed Ranieri Frees the Poor from a Jail in Florence, Stefano de Giovanni del Sassetta

Today I planned to research and write about Sassetta's painting (just above) "The Blessed Ranieri Frees the Poor from a Jail in Florence," but sadly I could not find any analysis or explanations/insight into  this famous work housed at the Louvre, so instead I have put four books on Sienese painting on hold at the Seattle Public Library. 

I did find a bit of information about Sassetta, however. For instance, he was fiercely pious. The painting up top ("The Miracle of the Eucharist") depicts what happens when a non-believer is "found out." Basically, he dies on the spot while Carmelites stand by looking all pious and "told you so." Pity all those who questioned Catholic dogma and hypocrisy! 

I also found out about the miracle of the bleeding host! Here's how it goes: so, a long time ago (around 1260) there was this host (piece of dry bread?) that suddenly and inexplicably began spurting blood, thus proving the theory of transubstantiation (the belief that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ at the time of communion). The bloody cloth on which the bread and chalice sat is now housed in a cathedral in Orvieto, Italy, a place to visit not only to view the spots of blood that somehow or other resembles Jesus Christ's face (!), but to tour their very cool and little-known underground city carved out of volcanic rock (tuff).

Not a bad start for an hour of poking around on the Web, but nowhere near enough information to begin writing a poem explaining why Ranier is half man/half rocket! Which leaves me sort of in the lurch, though thanks to Diane Lockward's  THE CRAFTY POET I'll have a draft knocked off within a half hour.  (More on The Crafty Poet in my next post. It's a wonderful book I can't wait to share about in detail, but right now I need to get my day #6 poem started).

Happy poem-ing!

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