cinquecento

feels like in a movie scene,
heading for Fiumicino airport
in a nero Fiat cinquecento,

tuscan sun coos from
an off-day sky, the landscape,
spiked with olive trees and vine
falls drunken in our arms,

can’t stop to hum that bluesy song

drinking capuccino in a town
where time bails out, whose name
i can’t remember but the view

from the old city wall is burned
into my mind like
vinyl record grooves

we joke we’ll spend the day
learning pentatonic scales

but somehow we forget

we laugh the ocean wide,
eating clam spaghetti and
together with the vino bianco,
they soundtrack the day
perfect

.
i pass the rent-a-car desk at the airport,
for a moment on my tongue,
the sense of vongole & mare and i hear

the hissing of the sea

.

thanks Joerg for a lovely day and all your encouragement during the saxophone workshop – you rock and i’m glad i’ve met you
yep – and linking up with dVerse Poets Pub for Luke Prater’s Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft, the place where we hone our skillz and work hard to get better poets..sign up opens 3pm EST

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44 responses to “cinquecento

  1. Your words really give quite the tribute to Joerg for the day, sounds like fun was had by all. Maybe that wasn’t the sea hissing but the cat, if it was the cat trying to hiss and rhyme sorry for that…haha

  2. Beautiful, Claudia. I especially like:

    drinking capuccino in a town
    where time stands still, whose name
    i can’t remember but the view

    from the old city wall is burned
    into my mind like grooves
    into a vinyl record

  3. just got a feedback & thank you from joerg via email…and the info that the name of the town was Capalbio… think men are better with such details..smiles

  4. Claudia, really wonderful. My only suggestion, “the sense of vongole e mare and i swear” – I think symbols are a bit harsh on how they dress a poem 🙂

  5. Front end of this piece in particular is very engrossing, Claudia; I like especially your descriptions of the airport and the car (the proper nouns really making a difference there, and bringing colour into a narrative always a nice touch). These lines offer tremendous poetry and also what I would call excellent descriptive passages –

    the landscape,
    spiked with olive trees and vine > v nice
    falls drunken in our open arms > this too

    teh ‘sun smiles’ feels a little well-worn (Tuscan is great), as does ‘where time stands still’. Between these are fine lines though, the record analogy, the place you can’t remember.

    we joked we’d spend the day > joked? Past tense? You’re writing in the present
    with learning pentatonic scales >love this couplet

    but somehow we forget, [i blame it
    on the seaside view -] >this redundant IMHO. What comes next shows why you forgot, no?

    we laugh the ocean wide,
    eating clam spaghetti and
    together with the vino bianco,
    [they give the perfect soundtrack
    for the day] >this makes no sense to me. how does food give soundtrack. Also a little on the cliche side to to talking of a ‘soundtrack to’…. (my day/weekend/life etc)

    .
    i pass the rent-a-car desk at the airport; >need hyphens?
    [and] for a moment on my tongue,
    the sense of vongole & mare and i swear >lovely but not keen on the ‘&’ for ‘and’

    i hear the hissing of the sea >ending very nice. lots of alliteration and some rhyme here to underscore a strong closure

    What do you think?

    • thanks luke – i esp. agree rgd. the smiling sun and time stands still…have to think of something more original… agree on the hyphens as well and will cut the “and” in the following line

      and yes – will make “joke” present tense…always get a bit mixed up with the tenses..

  6. There is not a thing I would change here. I think this is stunning! I enjoyed it immensely and for what it may be worth IMHO…you rock! (As per the norm) 🙂

  7. it feels a bit like a movie, (cut in)
    heading for Fiumicino airport
    in a coal black Fiat cinquecento,

    tuscan sun smiles from
    an off-day sky, the landscape,
    spiked with olive trees and vine
    falls drunken in our arms, (cut open)

    can’t stop to hum that bluesy song (nice)

    drinking capuccino in a town
    where time stands still, whose name
    i can’t remember but the view

    from the old city wall is burned
    into my mind like
    vinyl record grooves (reworded)

    we joked we’d spend the day (tense issues)
    with learning pentatonic scales

    but somehow we forget, i blame it (get lost in this line a bit)
    on the seaside view –

    we laugh the ocean wide,
    eating clam spaghetti and
    together with the vino bianco,
    they soundtrack the day
    perfect (reworded)

    .
    passing the rent a car desk at the airport
    and for a moment on my tongue,
    the sense of vongole & mare and i swear

    the sea hisses. (reworded)

    ok a few thoughts here…lovely day it sounds like and somefine memories…i love the feel of it claudia

    • thanks bri…yes the tense issues..will change this
      like what you did with the vinyl record and the soundtrack line..and yes – will cut “open”

  8. I’ve read this three times. I love your poetry. It always has that sound that is distinctly “you” and when I read it even when you don’t record the poem, I can “hear” you reading it. It was hard to find anything to change without changing the you that is
    within it. Having said that I am trying to learn this part of the craft too.

    I saw a few of the items Brian and Luke mentioned and think they’re right.

    Picking up on Luke’s suggestion and giving dimension with proper nouns- Changing the first line you “could” try something like saying –Felt I was walking out of “8 1/2”
    Not necessarily 8 1/2 – maybe better “La Dolce Vita” great Italian black and white films. Then you could transfer to the color of the airport drive. I might try something other than “coal black” – unless you want to underline the heat. Might be cliche?

    Other than that, I wouldn’t do much. It’s so visual and so tactile as are all your poems.

    Thanks you, Claudia for everything.
    Gay

    • thank you gay…i changed coal black to nero…the italian word for black and made the first line…feels i walk out of a movie scene..

  9. Not so long ago I had a little silver cinquecento which I loved, something quite sexy about zooming around in a cinquecento.

    If this had been on the board you know I would have done a line by line on it but Luke and Brian have given you some sound pointers so I won’t repeat. You’ve painted this Euroscene with such vividness Claudia. Love the vinyl record grooves.

  10. Fascinated by the piece you present and Luke and Brian’s crits. When combined this post becomes a learning lab. Wonderful!

    Your poem is quite effective. I felt the mood and was transported to the place. The ‘&’ was a distraction for me, too. I also wondered about removing some words,

    i.e.: {it} feels a bit like {in} a movie

  11. breathless again… love the fluid movement of your writing.. This time I feel the camera is with you.. very cinematic.. plus the music… yes, like the musical references and agree there’s no need then to mention ‘sound-track’

    You have a refreshing way of linking things:

    we laugh the ocean wide

    and I do love the ‘off-day sky’

    Particularly effective for me is the cutting in mid-stride/mid-sentence at the start… sets the film running…

  12. I relish how to contextualize love in the present tense. We, the reader, are there, hidden, like Waldo, but there. Your tale is perpetual, it flows seamlessly from one experience to the next. Your enjambments are soft and gentle turns of verse. I fall in love again and again. You have a fine link in your latest poems. The repititious use of “tuscan sun” is a subtle struck of continue business. It keeps your latest poems in the same musical key, metaphorically speaking. I love seeing myself reflected in these your muse. Keep speaking to us poetically.

  13. Again you write europe alive with intellect and freedom all the while presenting your carefully chosen words in an immaculate structure.

    Your poetry envokes feelings of freedom and positivity which is very refreshing and a boost for a meloncholic character such as myself.

    the disciplne of form you apply warrants plaudits.
    the ability to express your self from the heart but maintaining shape and rigor
    is a great example to set.

    I have found this evenings task a challenge but have once again enjoyed the evening at the dverse bar.

    thankyou

    Tom

  14. “tuscan sun coos”
    what an image, oh my, its buttery goodness.

    “vine
    falls drunken in our arms,
    can’t stop to hum that bluesy song”
    you have such an amazing way of blending words

    “we laugh the ocean wide”
    oh can we? is it possible?

    “i hear the hissing of the sea”
    such a grand finish…

  15. Hi Claudia, this poem transported me to Italy! IMHO Luke and Brian made excellent pints. I also prefer ‘nero’ to ‘coal black’ 🙂 I also feel ‘the hissing of the sea’ is a potent finish.

  16. learning to write a poem is one, learning to leave a comment is the other. from what i learned today, this is my “critique”:) –

    i like.

  17. I agree with oceangirl 😉 I like it too.
    You set the stage and I had no choice but to go along for the ride, taste the food…

    I loved the ending, the hissing… that was great!

    *** “can’t stop to hum that bluesy song” – I had to read it a couple times, just this line, to make sure I wasn’t misreading it, b/c usually I can’t stop humming the blues… but not stopping for it… then I got it! (I think…)

    Thank you!!!

  18. a true Claudia poem ~ you write the most lush, vivid, emotion-laden imagery and the emotions elicit passion like no one else. ♥ i first read your post-critique revised version and it is stunning!

  19. I am seeing it after you have implemented some of the excellent suggestions received. I adore this poem! It’s gorgeous, it’s lush, it’s happy — and I so love poetry that takes me somewhere unexpected, can’t be second-guessed.

    Only two places where I’d consider changes now. Grammatically, ‘in learning pentatonic scales’ is better than ‘with learning’. But actually you could drop the preposition altogether, so it would read ‘we joke we’ll spend they day / learning …’ Please note I have changed ‘we’d’ to ‘we’ll’, which is consistent with changing the verb to present tense. You need to make this change, whatever you may do with my other suggestions; otherwise the flow is impeded. The grammatical error is hard to notice, but makes a little niggle in the back of the mind.

    Myself, I don’t understand what you mean by the word ‘nero’ in this context. Is it a particular model of that make of car? If so, leave it; most people will probably understand perfectly. But no, that must be cinquecento. If ‘nero’ means the colour, shouldn’t the word be ‘negro’? And then you might run into accusations of racism! Anyway, for me (and perhaps other non-Europeans) as it is, it conjures up no visual image.

    These things almost pass unnoticed, as the poem as whole is so delicious (sic). I see them only because I am purposefully looking with a critical eye.

    • thanks Rosemary..i changed it to “we joke we’ll spend the day learning pentatonic scales…
      nero is the italian word for black – may should’ve translated it in the footnotes..

  20. I love it…I did not read it before the suggestion edits…I like the hyphens…but then I am big on them….love the last line…but in the second to the last line..I would leave off the “and i swear”

    leaving the reader knowing you heard the hissing sea…if only in your mind….lovely Claudia…bkm

  21. “i pass the rent-a-car desk at the airport,
    for a moment on my tongue,
    the sense of vongole & mare and i hear

    the hissing of the sea”

    Hi! Claudia…
    Hmmm…a minute or more Of reflecting back on a wonderful memory Of your time spent in Italy?

    Claudia, once again your words [in your poem] are very strong, your words [in your poem] are very descriptive, and your imagery is very vivid too!
    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 😉

  22. An adventure in a moment…and it certainly sounds like someone is having a wonderful trip. Such a warm, vivid piece, that cannot help but coax a smile as it passes by. It is such a wonderful view, to see the world through your eyes!

  23. I cannot add much to the well-deserved plaudits here, which I echo. Love how the musical allusions are sprinkled throughout these lovely, sensuous verses.

  24. A great poem – thanks for a wonderful read.
    One of my favourites parts was:

    …… whose name
    i can’t remember but the view

    from the old city wall is burned
    into my mind like
    vinyl record grooves.

    As someone who fondly remembers vinyl records this struck a chord.

    Writing poetry is something I’m experimenting with at the moment – dVerse Poets Club is a great place to learn. Can I ask, is there a particular reason why you (and other poets) use i and not I?

  25. oh, oh, da haben schon so viele commentiert…*lach*
    nun gebe ich meinen *senf* auch noch dazu…weil mir dieses Gedicht so gut gefällt:

    und außerdem kam mir der Gedanke: …oh, gibt es den noch, den Cinquecento? Meine jüngste Tochter hatte ihn und ich fuhr auch damit… ist lange her…

    und sicher war die Szene filmreif…du und dein Saxophon hatten Platz darin…
    man spürt die Atmosphäre durch deine Worte…
    schön, dass du das in Versen weiter gibst, was du erlebt hast, vielen Dank!