The Shepherdess – A Copy

The Shepherdess Copy by DMD

I remember

 the silence

the solitude

the softness of lambs

looking for their mothers

the world

somewhere else

the youth

of my dreams

the peace in my heart.

 

I was not original

copying another’s vision

how was it wrong

to be so serene

as I learned

the technique

and satisfaction

of being an artist

long ago

and faraway

still within sight

every day.

I am breaking my ‘rule’ and posting this poem after writing it very spontaneously, very quickly. I wanted to post something for Easter to go along with this painting that I did many many years ago, that hangs in our living room. You may recognize it as a likeness of The Shepherdess (1866) by Johann Baptist Hofner. I used to copy other artists a lot in the ‘old’ days – it is a great way to develop, I think, like a lamb learning from its mother, all innocence and belief .

The Shepherdess by Johann Baptist Hofner

The Shepherdess by Johann Baptist Hofner

Blessings for Easter, Passover, and Spring!



donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

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Repost: Wrestling with Love

Originally posted November 2011 (Just haven’t had time to come up with anything new … but hope you enjoy whether you have seen this one before or not.)

Wrestling with Love
The rug was a rink
in front of the fire,
its design hooked
in roses
and thorns;
e
ach to a corner
fringed on desire,
hearts ready to fight
in poses
and throws.
The match was a show
of how they did play,
rolling and rolling
then pausing
to part;
b
ack to their places
for
rules to obey,
one not the other
fostering
the pact.
A blow from behind
turns trust on its head,
perverting the game
to cheating
for fun;
forgiveness is hard
her faith all but dead,
hope losing hope of
defeating
its fate.
Time is the stealer
of heartaches to face,
prospects laid to dust
in roses
and thorns;
more and less fondness
alive in each case,
the show going on
that closes
this thought.
 

Copyright 2011 by DM Denton

Writing note: This poem was inspired by two cats I brought from England in 1990. They were a year apart and cousins. They are, of course, long gone…but, equally of course, not forgotten. The younger gray one, Sophie, was very carefree as a kitten but grew into a self-centered even schizophrenic creature (she never forgave me for putting her on a plane). On the other hand, Heidi, the black and white one, was the loveliest most balanced spirit I’ve ever known, a soulmate for sure, my best friend and protector through difficult times (no doubt the trip from England to the US was traumatic for her too, but when she looked around her new home and saw my mom and me that was all she needed–home was truly where her heart was!). 

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

To Éire with Love

I know a few of you will remember these pieces, but I thought they were worth reposting because they reflect my experience of Ireland. Both were written on trips I made to Southern Ireland in the 1980’s. (There are also some allusions to a couple of traditional Irish folksongs…curious if anyone knows what they are) The ‘Iris’ painting was actually never quite finished. I decided to leave it so.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

I traveled there a woman
and came back a child
with my eyes full of the clouds
coming over the mountains
so I could never tell
how high they were;
the rivers going on
forever,
the irises
floating down to the sea,
the fuchsias so wild,
but not really.
All along the way
cowslips lived
where meadows survived
and milkmaids didn’t mind
the rain
so sudden
as suddenly gone.
The fields were greener than any
in France
through the glass of our visit
going down to the sea,
everywhere surrounding,
only my heart brave enough
to go on
into the waves,
a lonesome boatman calling me
to come live with him
forever.
1983
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

This time the blackberries were ripening, seed pods cracking, rose hips shining in the sun blowing in and out of the sky. There was honeysuckle in the hedges, like the bloom in our cheeks as we rode along. And in the gorse and heather, again and at last. The moss was a carpet laid for our steps through a wood-and-wonder-land, dark oak, grey ash (red-berried too), silver birch and airy fern. And bluebells imagined, like a strawberry tree. Elsewhere there were mushrooms, surprising us like rabbits. While jackdaws were expected at the end of a shorter day, a silent peat fire making the night and reason we were together familiar.
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

We lived day to day; what else was there to do? Waking to the rain that misted our view. Though it was something to see the crows claiming a chimney. To warm their hearts? Or dry their wings? By the time we ate our pink bacon the mountains were rising again. So we took to the road that still sounded wet, passing the jaunters as they passed us sympathizing or gloating as we walked up another hill. Sometimes we abandoned our wheels for the slowness of our step. To stray. Even from each other. And meet like the waters where time stood. But not too still, the water boatmen as busy as we weren’t, a fat robin flirting nearer and nearer until flying away, the light always changing.
So much time. To do nothing. But eat cream cakes and salads and sandwiches. And look at the mountains surrounding us more noticeably than the sea. It seemed all the same, being in love with each other and the place; at the end of the day going the same way as the jaunters who couldn’t see us either as we climbed gates and crossed fields, trespassing where we felt welcome.
1985

And as a bonus, from St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ Prayer:

I bind unto myself today

The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

What Would You Like to Know?

Flower Question Mark-page-0 (2)This post is a little different for me, but I am hoping some of you might be able to help.
Regarding my novel, A House Near Luccoli published by All Things That Matter Press: I will be doing an interview in early April for Unusual Historicals, a blog where historical authors brave the wilds of unusual settings and times to create distinctive, exciting novels just outside of the mainstream.
For those who don’t know, the novel imagines a fictional intimacy with one of the most legendary and yet obscure composers of the 17th century, Alessandro Stradella. Set in Genoa where Stradella seems to have made a new start after being involved in scandals that forced him to flee Rome, Venice and Turin, his professional and personal life have begun to unravel once more. The novel begins as he moves into a new apartment to the curiosity and consternation of its caretakers. At first, one of them, Donatella, is in awe of and certain she will have little to do with Stradella. Slowly, his ego, playfulness, need of a copyist and camouflage involve her in an inspired and insidious world, exciting and heartbreaking as she is enlarged by his magnanimity and reduced by his missteps, forging a friendship that challenges how far she will go.
Of course, if you have read the novel or are reading it, I would love to know what you would like to know about it.
Even if you haven’t read it, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the kind of questions you might like to ask an author about their work specifically or generally or otherwise. (You can read more about the novel at its page on my website.)

Cover Artwork by DM DentonCopyright 2012



Just put any suggestions in a comment to this post. All those who do offer interview questions will go into a draw for a free Kindle or NOOK Book edition of the novel. (If you already have a copy, it would make a great gift!)
I look forward to your ideas! Thank you in advance.




PS: Likes, Ratings, and Reviews are always welcomed, whether on amazon.com, barnesandnobleGoodreads, or all three – and don’t forget my Facebook Author Page! (I am always willing to return the favor.)



©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

An Artist Revealed

by my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

The secrets of your heart
are stacked against the wall,
canvases for your art
of hiding what you missed.
No mistaking your style,
a freedom out of hand
that kept you all the while
believing as you wished.
A world that long was yours
before it was revealed—
imagination soars
with courage its master.
 Flowers filling a place
left bereft of your own,
a portrait in a vase
found by me, your daughter.
Landscapes take you afar,
cats and soup bring you home
to settle for who you are:
the author of this poem.
By my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

Happy Birthday, Mom,
my dearest friend
and mentor!

And I know it is Mothering Sunday in the UK today, so loving wishes to all who are mothers (to human and animal children). It is all about nurturing the gift of life!

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Nerdy Girl and Rock Star – 17th Century Genoese Style

New Five Star Review of A House Near Luccoli

by Marina Julia Neary
A House Near Luccoli with G ClefImagine a nerdy cat lady and a rakish, self-destructive rock star. Now throw
this scenario back to 17th century Genoa, and you get “A House Near Luccoli”.
Music history is filled with stories of composers who were dismissed by their
contemporaries only to be rediscovered deified decades, sometimes centuries
later. Alessandro Stradella’s story is the opposite. He was quite an emblem in
his day and had since faded into relative obscurity. My mother is a classical
musician, and when I asked her about Stradella’s status in the musical pantheon,
she looked puzzled. “He doesn’t get played much these days”, she said. For this
very reason I applaud the author, DM Denton for pulling this composer from
obscurity. His personal life makes for a great plot for a picaresque novel. And
yet, “A House Near Luccoli” is not a traditional picaresque. It’s a
psychologically authentic study of ambition, polarization of gender roles in a
Catholic country, where men, especially those endowed with musical talent, were
excused from the conventions imposed upon women. It’s about the position of a
star in the society and the perilous liberties it implies.

 

I owe much to finally being a published author to Marina. She is an accomplished writer, exhibiting edgy wit, sublime intelligence, and an engaging sense of theater! You can check out her work here.
See my review of her novel, Martyrs and Traitors, A Tale of 1916 about another obscure figure in history, Bulmer Hopson, a misunderstood antihero involved in the ill-fated Irish Easter rebellion.
And more happy news: A House Near Luccoli is now in production to be an audio book which should be available mid-April. Thanks to Deb and Phil, my lovely publishers for believing in me and submitting to ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange)! It will be available through amazon, audible.com, and iTunes.

                     


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

A Friendship with Flowers (New Publication)

I have a new publication

incorporating poetic musings

and flower illustrations.

Cover Front Only Image

This journal was originally created by hand while I was living in Oxfordshire, England in the 1980’s, during the year or so after my father suddenly passed away. I spent a month in the States with my mom, and came back to a time that proved more difficult than I expected.

One of the things that helped was the TV series “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” (also an exquisite book) that was airing on the BBC . I unashamedly admit that it inspired my undertaking of this work.

The book was done with gratefulness for the flowers that graced and healed me with their beauty, wisdom, and playfulness.

At this time, it is available through lulu.com,
where you can also see a preview.

The Original Journal

The Original Journal

I hope that it will bring a few others the soothing joy it offered me while making it once … and then again.

A special thank you to my mom and D. Bennison for continuing to encourage me to get this done!

Blessings to you all. 

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.