For breakfast I eat up my vowels, my a e i o u, to which I add from consonants a fricative or two;
After that I move my bowels then write as poets do, and frequently am quite surprised to feel a trill come through.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

holy holy holy

holy holy holy

See now the top rung lights of the world,
both called holy:

here top the Ladder of the Moon,
Holy Roman Emperor;

there top the Ladder of the Sun,
Holy Father, Bishop of Rome.

Two lights with brides 
in triumphal train,
a juggler and a madman
or, perchance, a holy fool and true: 

the other two outshone.


  1. Poi viene il Papa,con l’Imperatore,
    Et ciascun d’essi hà la sua donn’ à canto,
    Che senza donne stare,* loro* non da il core.
    Chiamato vien l’un Sacro,*e l’altro Santo,*
    pur vogliono buffoni,et giocolieri,*
    Et pazzi in tutto,con risibil manto.

    Vincenzo Imperiali, c. 1550,_Ferrara_1550_ca

    Then comes the Pope, with the Emperor,
    And each of them has his woman by his side,
    For to be without women, is not in their heart.
    Called is the one Holy,* and the other Holy,*
    yet they want clowns and jugglers,
    And the totally crazy in ludicrous attire.

    * note: stare/ lori are star and lor in original.
    * sacro and santo lit. sacred and saint, as in Sacro romano imperatore e il Santo Padre = Holy roman emperor and holy father
    * giocolari in original.

    verum et luminaria mundi, scilicet Papa et Imperator...
    but the true lights of the world, that is the Pope and Emperor...
    Anonymous c.1500

  2. The medieval theory of the 'two lights' of temporal and spiritual authority associates the Emperor with the Moon and the Pope with the Sun:

    "The first of these ladders (fi g. 17), made of silver, leads up to a moonlit sky. On the eight rungs of the ladder stand Maximilian’s various ancestors, graded according to social rank; he sits at the top of the silver ladder receiving the imperial crown from two angels...”

    "The second ladder, golden, leads to a sunlit sky (fi g. 18). Here seven successive Habsburg ancestors ascend in rank from hermit and monk up through bishops and cardinals to a figure who is being offered the papal tiara by angels. These figures are described as those “who left worldly rank and became spirituals, thus becoming hermit, monk, abbot, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, and pope.”

    "...Together these paired ladders convey the medieval theory of authority, the “two lights theory,” where the greater spiritual power of the papacy outshines the temporal power of the emperor, as gold outshines silver or the sun the moon."

    Illustrations of the two ladders from Jakob Mennel, Der Zaiger, 1518, illuminated miniature. Vienna Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, cod. 7892, I, fo. 24.

    end quote from:
    "MARKETING MAXIMILIAN The Visual Ideology of a Holy Roman Emperor" by LARRY SILVER, p.47/48