Monday, December 19, 2005

Mona Lisa's Ghazal

. . . The result showed the painting's famous subject was 83 percent happy, 9 percent disgusted, 6 percent fearful and 2 percent angry. She was less than 1 percent neutral, and not at all surprised.
    -- "Scientists Figure Out
        Why Mona Lisa Smiles

I'm thrilled to see you dear!   though not at all surprised
with barely a smidge of fear       I'm not at all surprised

at times (might I concede?)     you seem a tad disgusting!
but that won't impede my cheer!   I'm not at all surprised

remember when you whispered   "I love you" seven times?
I'm eight-tenths happy here!     while not at all surprised

what critic called me "neutral"?   for half a sec I'm miffed!
but let's make one thing clear   I'm not at all surprised

if down the lane they're gossipping   I'm pregnant?   let 'em talk!
I deem them all my children   (really     not am I surprised)

mia vita! how you capture me!   (after these endless sittings)
Leo! you're beyond all peer!     but well   no   I'm not surprised

the river (in my background)   it's from hills (outside my frame)
hey you brought a jar of beer?       that's cool!   (unsurprised)

when Mona confided how     she might desire you       as her painter
her happiness became clear?   & you weren't (sweet doll) surprised?


Blogger V Murthy said...


Sun Dec 18, 09:07:00 PM PST  
Blogger Pragya said...

What fun! Really enjoyed reading this David.


Mon Dec 19, 04:58:00 PM PST  
Blogger annie said...

what fun!, i echo

Tue Dec 20, 01:31:00 AM PST  
Blogger Indeterminacy said...

That was clever - I can tell you had fun writing it. It shows in the fun we all had reading.

Tue Dec 20, 03:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger ~River~ said...

Very witty, d.i. Made me chuckle.

Tue Dec 20, 04:31:00 AM PST  
Blogger ~River~ said...

Isn't chuckle a strange word?

Tue Dec 20, 04:32:00 AM PST  
Blogger Max Babi said...

hi david,

This is really good!
Thoroughly enjoyed every single shade of the emotions...
great piece!


Tue Dec 20, 06:40:00 AM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Indie & River!
shukria grazie
xie-xie danke
[*bows & smiles*
*thinks himself clever*]

-- really it cannot (as I noted in a discussion thread elsewhere) be said to amount to a "serious ghazal" (per se), but I enjoyed writing it (yes) anyway. I like to think there's an element of (perhaps not unsuitable) ambiguity in some of the lines...

also gave me a chance to study the painting in a different way. Famous or not, it's a sweet painting. The half-visible breasts of the woman would possibly be deemed more provocative in contemporary times than in DaVinci's (?? or maybe I'm off my rocker abt this), except that contemp. eyes are so trained to think "famous classic" when looking at the image, that this detail perchance tends to go unnoticed. And there's more depth-of-warmth in her gaze (my "study" declares) than I'd taken in heretofore, seems.


ps River: good point about chuckle.
In America, there's also the very strange nicname Chucklehead -- or at least I've heard it; [maybe it was somebody's local (not-pervasive) revision of knucklehead]. Chuckle, buckle and knuckle -- only 3 such words, apparenntly. Though with other vowels, we also have tinkle, sparkle, spangle, heckle, hackle, and pickle. Also jingle-jangle. There was an old song, I've got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle....


Tue Dec 20, 06:54:00 AM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

ps-- Max!
we were typing contemporaneously; so I missed you in my rhyme above. Merci to you too.


Tue Dec 20, 07:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for a good laugh.

Tue Jan 03, 10:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger ariel said...

LOL, great work! and what nice rythm "not at all surprised" gives to it. can we dance to it?

Wed Jan 04, 11:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

pleased to learn that even a(n internet-savvy) dog is not lacking for a sense of humor; obliged.

Ariel --
by all means, dance!

And thanks for your remarks.
cheers, d.i.

Wed Jan 04, 11:49:00 PM PST  

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