I have written a sonnet, which was received to some acclaim at the d'Alzon Library's inaugural poetry reading on Friday. Cunina, Vallonia, Collatina, Mellonia, and Fructesa are all minor Roman goddesses St. Augustine mentions in Book IV of The City of God. The accompanying painting is Piero di Cosimo's The Discovery of Honey; though perhaps given to a different mood, it is an admirable Renaissance piece which, since it is on display in the Worcester Art Museum, I have had the immaculate pleasure of spending a few minutes contemplating in solitude.
Cunina, soft, safe valley; I was born,
She held me, care devout, immutable.
Vallonia, I walked her ways that morn,
Lived, satisfied by rivers wide and full.
That afternoon, with Collatina, I
Found paths into the hills, saw as from far.
Only Mellonia lives there, and by
Late day, I gorged thick sustenance from her.
Raw honey, yellow pale, down wrists and squeezed,
Made troubling nourishment without a cup.
Mellonia was good for talk, but teased,
Amused her honey was such messy sup.
Last light I left; Fructesa found me, seized
Me off to orchards, fruits I could pick up.