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For Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665)

by michwo 

Posted: 04 November 2019
Word Count: 100
Summary: He was born in Assendelft, then a country village 13 kilometres from Haarlem. He joined the Guild of St Luke in Haarlem in 1614 when he was living in Haarlem. Frans Hals joined in 1610. He finished his picture of the interior of Assendelft village church in October 1649. King Charles the First was beheaded on the 30th of January 1649.

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For Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665)

Your world, unlike your father’s, sensuous,
Was soaring, geometric, linear.
For some your appearance was sinister:
Big-headed, short and hunch-backed, tenuous
Your hold on them, your marriage prospects nil.
Just as well.  Your art was time-consuming.
A country childhood stopped you being ill.
Piety you never looked like losing.
Your churches you are most remembered for
And chief among them surely Assendelft,
Your father’s gravestone Latined on the floor.
Not far from Haarlem then where Frans Hals helped
You, four years after him, to join the Guild.
The year you painted this a king was killed.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 13:19 on 05 November 2019  Report this post
His paintings are beautiful! I'd never heard of him. I do like this sonnet. I love your traditional rhymes and rhythms that fit well with the style of the paintings, actually. There's a sparse and measured 'clean line' to this that marries subject and form and I'm fond of that. Art is greater than kings indeed!
I think this is one of your best.

michwo at 14:35 on 05 November 2019  Report this post
Thanks, Oonah.  I do so like it when people comment and the comment is upbeat.
When I was waiting for James to comment and he couldn't because he was no longer with us sadly, I felt out on a limb as a result.  I did post another sonnet before this one in the Poetry Writers Group and before "The Hunter" - "Wallenstein in Cheb" which you might not like unfortunately - has it been archived though? - as poor Wallenstein, even though not a saint by any means, got bumped off in February 1632 during the Thirty Years War by his own side on the face of it in Cheb (Bohemia).  I was just about to order a book in German from abebooks.de when I picked up on your email.  I was hoping for inspiration from someone called Friedrich Wallisch who wrote what translates into English as "The Tales of the Wise Qadi", a Qadi being a judge or magistrate in Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia.  This book I've got already, but it's a bit flat in all honesty.  I think a 19th century writer who died young, Wilhelm Hauff, would have more about him.  He's on Project Gutenberg admittedly.  His "Märchen" or fairy tales I think are more Brothers Grimm than Hans Christian Andersen.  (You don't need to be told all this, I know.)

V`yonne at 18:26 on 05 November 2019  Report this post

You don't need to be told all this, I know.

 blush Moi? Clueless, Michael!

michwo at 19:58 on 05 November 2019  Report this post
Well, for once, Oonah, I've resisted the urge to splurge on printed paper even with such evocative titles as "The Cold Heart" (there are trees in that one, albeit German ones in the Black Forest) and "The Severed Hand" (it starts in 19th century Constantinople, switches to Italy and suffice it to say seems very exotic).  But I'm giving all that a miss.  Hurrah!
I'm currently reading "Barnaby Rudge" (Dickens) and, to be absolutely honest with you, it's been a bit like wading through treacle. Even now there are more than 50 more pages to get through before I see the words THE END, but it's given me the germ of an idea, which may or may not grow and which I may or may not act on.  I'll leave it at that for the time being. 

Jojovits1 at 20:31 on 05 November 2019  Report this post
You're like a walking history book, Michael!  

I really like this.  There's hardly a spare word and yet it is informative and musical and makes me want to know more.

Wikapedia, here I come :-)


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