Is it because, as a generalization but true, that most history was obtained and written about by men? This being the case that the world was deprived of deeds and stories of great significance, works of art, difficult moments surmounted by critical words and people, beautifully conceived and composed, by women!
Gardez à l'esprit
Let’s balance the ledger and discuss with you over several posts, a celebration of women ever. Let’s start by travelling back to the second half of the thirteenth century when the European world was only starting to enjoy the lyrical qualities of this sonnet. This technique of composing was invented earlier in the century from the Sicilian Jacopo da Lentini and had quickly developed into the ideal poetic form, soon to be imitated throughout Europe.
From Sicily we proceed north to Florence where La Compiuta Donzella was born and lived. We know so little about her and it’s not certain that Compiuta Donzella was her name; it might have been a pseudonym meaning the Accomplished Maid. But this woman could compose; described by people that knew her job as a delicate but intense poet. Some even referred to her as the Divine Sibyl!
Her best known work to have survived the passing of centuries is titled”A la stagion che il mondo foglia e fiora” (In the Season when the World Leafs and Flowers) and shows a writer of excellent refinement and precision whose lines flow with a excellent melody and harmony. Her work reflects the language of lyric poetry which was attained in 13th century Tuscany, and the shout of a woman who was being forced into a loveless marriage by her father.
Tragically, such tears of fear and pain still fall from the eyes of several girls in this imperfect world today! And each maiden lives in joy. Personally, miseries and tears abound. He wants to give me forcing me a husband. So that neither flower nor leaf rejoices me. A poem that starts with the promise of joy and love becomes a personal lament of despair. Her pain and sorrow prompted the writing of the bewitching piece of poetry as well as her words ring as true now as they did some seven hundred years back.