Sunday, November 22, 2020

Talking to Myself Forty-Nine

Orchids I had a few years ago near my back door.

Talking to Myself Forty-Nine  November 22, 2020

Who wants to know the dark side

of our human nature? I haven’t 

especially sought it out but decided

to teach Villon’s poetry, the Testament,

in particular, a moral treatise of the

400s in Paris, which he knew well.

He was hounded and hunted for

his knowledge, and he did break

a few laws and was exiled from

Paris as he was dying. He left

information behind him, forgave

his enemies and hoped for the

protection of Heaven. I’m guessing

he wanted his Testament published,

and it was the underbelly of Paris

revealed–all those priests and

powerful citizens who overindulged

in sex and drink. He knew them all

and had sinned himself. His assumption

was: God honors honesty. If I’d lived

then, I would not have known those

prostitutes, would probably not have 

imagined the trickery and debauchery

that existed behind the scenes of the

wealthiest citizens. But Villon 

claimed a place in literary history 

for his poetry. He comes after Dante,

who put so many of his fellow 

citizens in hell and his beloved

Beatrice in Heaven. Chaucer also

showed where people failed the

moral behavior expected of them,

Villon is only a century before

Shakespeare. Somehow I wasn’t

surprised. He obviously had fun

with naming this dark side of French

history, and he must have made

some people love him else they

wouldn’t have published him in 1489.

I believe he enjoyed every word he

wrote, as I’ve enjoyed upsetting

those who misuse power and want

to rid themselves of their critics.


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