Leonardo Da Vinci: Renaissance Man

By Wayne Visser

Born on a Saturday, third hour of night
With Tuscan hills bathed in the star spangled light
Ser Piero’s great pride and Vinci’s great joy
He was Chaterina’s illegitimate boy
At sixteen, he followed the Arno’s swift flow
And joined as apprentice to Verrocchio
To learn to perfect the painter’s high trade
Of capturing light and harnessing shade
He started by painting a tranquil glade scene,
Then the Madonnas and the pose of Benci,
The Magi adored, the penitent Saint –
All brought back to life on his canvass with paint
At thirty he travelled to the city Milano
An envoy in chief for the ruler Lorenzo
He was sent to the court of his patron il Moro
To give him a glimpse through the veil of tomorrow
In a letter, he made his offer prodigious –
From building of weapons to laying of bridges
Even a lyre from a horse-skull and strings –
In his words: “An infinite variety of things”
For seventeen years he stayed in that quarter
Designing new ways to regulate water
While filling his days with Paragone theses
Of legends and myths and fantasy species
At Paradise Feast, the heavens displayed
With magical motion effects that he made;
And a three-tier city was part of his plan,
As was his great wheel of Vetruvius man
He pictured the Virgin on bleak rocky shore
And captured an artist with his music score,
Then Cecelia posing with snow-white ermine,
Before re-enacting the last supper scene
His equine colossus was sculpted from clay
His Platonic drawings on published display
His thoughts and ideas in codexes bound
His paintings commissioned to bless holy ground
From Mantua to Venice, from Florence to Rome
Montefeltro to Paris – all made them his home;
From Leo the Tenth to Louis the First –
They all were enchanted by his mental thirst
As architect, engineer, artist and sage
Biologist, scientist ahead of his age
Inventor of unbelievable things
An unsurpassed genius, this legend of wings
He towers above the landscape of time
With brilliant ideas and visions sublime
Still no one can fathom the depths of his guile
Or unlock the secret of Mona’s half smile
And even though five hundred years have gone by
He calls us to stretch out our mind-wings and fly
To join in the journey that he once began
And walk in the steps of the Renaissance Man.

Wayne Visser © 2008


 Pdf Leonardo Da Vinci: Renaissance Man (poem)

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