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Initially, I thought to post a poem by an African-American poet, this being Black History Month. Then I reconsidered and thought about putting up a poem for ground-hog's day, this being February 2nd and all. Here's a link to the (poorly written) rhyming proclamation read this morning in Punxsatawney, declaring spring is around the corner. But then something happened to change my mind.

This morning at around 6:30, my grandmother died. She was over 90 years old, and in relatively ill health but in good spirits until, earlier this week, she suffered a massive stroke. Her name was Dorothy, but everyone called her Mommie Dot -- 2 or her 3 kids (my Dad was the holdout and called her "Mom"), her eight grandchildren and (in many cases) their spouses, her 10 great-grand children (with more on the way), and even friends of the family. She is much-loved and will be missed.

From La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri

A portion of
XXXI: His canzone mourning Beatrice

The grieving eyes for pity of the heart
have so suffered the pain of tears,
that having conquered none remain.
Now, if I wish to ease their sadness,
that leads me step by step to death,
I must speak to find my help.
And so remembering how I spoke
of my lady, while she was alive,
sweet ladies, freely with you,
I do not wish to speak with others,
unless they have the gentle hearts of women:
and I will speak of her, weeping,
since she has gone suddenly to Heaven,
and has left Love grieving with me.

Beatrice has gone to the highest Heaven,
to the realm where the angels have peace,
and stays with them, and has left you ladies:
no quality of coldness took her,
or of heat, as it is with others,
but it was only her great gentleness:
since light from her humility
pierced the skies with so much virtue,
that it made the Eternal Lord marvel,
so that a sweet desire
moved him to claim such greeting:
and called her from the heights to come to him,
since he saw our harmful life
was not worthy of such a gentle one.






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Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you. You'd have liked her -- she was feisty.
docstymie
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
so sorry, Kelly. {{ hugs }}
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Doc. Please keep your fingers crossed that our drive to South Carolina and back is uneventful.
lisa_schroeder
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss.

xoxo
Lisa
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
fabulousfrock
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
So sorry about your Grandma.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Me too.
robinellen
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
What a lovely tribute -- made me think of my gramma (she's 90 and healthy)...the last line is a teary one!
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
It seemed fitting to me, somehow.
susanwrites
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Oh Kelly, hugs and love on the loss of this fabulous feisty grandma. A wonderful tribute.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
kelcrocker
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss, Kelly. She sounds very special.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
She was indeed special. Thank you.
carriejones
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, too, Kelly. She sounds amazing, and it's pretty obvious her good spirits and much lovedness are living on through you.


I love these lines:
I do not wish to speak with others,
unless they have the gentle hearts of women:

Love,
Carrie
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
I thought the poem was pretty appropriate -- wild, considering it's from about 1293, and translated from the Italian. Dante wrote it after the death of his beloved Beatrice, who I am pretty certain was the inspiration for Lemony Snicket's lost Beatrice as well.
lorrainemt
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about your special grandmother, Kelly. *hugs*
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Lorraine.
queen_of_ocd
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear that. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I just hope the travel gods will cooperate with us as we make the (very long) drive south tomorrow.
giogas
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
My condolences & hugs.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Val.
de_scribes
Feb. 2nd, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Kelly.

kellyrfineman
Feb. 2nd, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you, my friend.
jharfam
Feb. 3rd, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
What a lovely way to honor your grandmother. Hugs to you and your family.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 3rd, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, Janice.
jmprince
Feb. 3rd, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing that. It's beautiful.
I'm sorry about your grandmother. It sounds
like she was a fascinating woman!
kellyrfineman
Feb. 3rd, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
She was pretty terrific. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem segment -- I was impressed by how modern the language sounds, even though it's over 700 years old.
bluemalibu
Feb. 3rd, 2007 09:10 am (UTC)
FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kellyrfineman
Feb. 3rd, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
boreal_owl
Feb. 5th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Kelly.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
wgwriter
Feb. 5th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Sorry, Kelly. Sounds like your grandmother enjoyed life.

Grief is timeless, as is this poem.
kellyrfineman
Feb. 6th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
She was a wonderful person, and it is a blessing that she's at rest. She would have liked seeing the whole family together, since she was so fond of all of us.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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