Scientific Inquisition

th[2] (3)

I’m just a simple lad from Italy
Was born in early fifteen forty eight
In Padua. Its university
Renowned by many, thought to be first rate.
This was before the trouble all began,
When total fear had soon consumed my life.
But first, there’s too much history to span,
So I’ll begin this tale before that strife.
A nobleman of high regard was dad,
And I was blessed with lovely loving mom.
They raised me up with all the best they had,
Provided finest schools without a quam.
So I grew fast into the smartest lad,
Was sent off to the University,
Where all the finest knowledge could be had,
And men of stature filled the gallery.
When asked, I’d say, to coin a simple phrase,
For me, these were the most exciting days.
For me, these were the most exciting days.
The world was changing most significantly,
Courageous men had challenged old beliefs.
Columbus’ voyage loosed pent up energy.
What once thought flat was actually round.
Ideas, new views were breaking old taboos.
Conjectures proved mathematically sound.
It seemed each day brought more exciting news.
For now, a full-scaled Renaissance was on
And irrepressible ideas released.
The lore of ancient Greece relied upon,
While scientific method soon increased.
Was here that I first met with Galileo,
Became acquainted with his telescope.
Apprenticed to one Giordano Bruno,
Began my slide down very slip’ry slope.
Still unaware of what was yet to be,
In heady times of pure discovery.
In heady times of pure discovery,
I learned from extraordinary men,
As Galileo once had mentored me,
And Bruno showed the heavens, now and then.
The lure of science had ensnared my soul,
As research took us to revealed unknown.
DaVinci’s talent had sublime control,
His curiosity was not alone.
With Bruno’s thoughts about the cosmic states,
I plotted seven planet’s orbit paths,
The frequency of their celestial rates,
And light emitted in the aftermath.
Then Giordano from his social peak
Bequeathed to me degrees of high estate.
These happy moments, those of which I speak,
Were prior to events that set his fate.
When church’s doctrines start to call the toon,
Our days of freedom numbered all too soon.

Our days of freedom numbered all too soon.
It came so unexpectedly because
From Inquisition, thought we were immune.
Our work condemned as fundamental flaws.
My own eyes saw through telescopic lens,
The path of planets, moon, and other stars,
Supporting the conclusions of my friends,
Relationships of Earth to Sun and Mars.
Moon craters, Neptune, Venus, Saturn’s rings,
Revealed to eager eyes of learned men.
Enlightened concepts that such knowledge brings
Condemned by God these facts , by papal pen.
This information that upsets the church
Has contradicted deep false dignity.
Soon those involved were left out in the lurch
To Inquisition’s board of Inquery.
Our spiritual wills were soon to be tested
As I observed, when great men were arrested.
As I observed, when great men were arrested,
False doctrine had played a pivotal role,
Allowed by clerical force, uncontested.
I felt deep darkness would invade my soul.
For what could a courageous fellow do,
Confronted by outrageous accusations,
But state what they had found out to be true,
Endorsed by their scholarly reputations.
For these were not just ordinary men,
The great Galileo, and Bruno too,
Were men who had powerful aid back then,
From Kings and noblemen friends that they knew.
This matter should settle in rapid time.
Resolved once all the evidence is known.
The statement of facts can’t constitute crime,
Once the empirical data’s been shown.
The outcome found should be perfectly clear,
Unless dogma happens to interfere.
Unless dogma happens to interfere,
Where prejudiced minds are piously closed.
Then innocent men find no justice here.
Results have already been presupposed.
Galileo was imprisoned for life,
And all his works declared heresy,
While causing his family palpable strife,
Its repercussions mattered much to me.
Priests hauled my other friend right off to Rome,
Where Bruno faced Cardinal Belarmino.
Spent seven lonely years under its dome,
Defending honor with proud quid pro quo.
Intolerance overcame reason and truth,
And for his beliefs he wouldn’t forsake,
In a scene so barbarously uncouth,
For science, Bruno was burned at the stake.
Events of such, shook me deep to the bone.
My courage is spent, as I sit alone.
My courage is spent, as I sit alone.
I can’t believe the damage that’s been done
Initiative of science has been blown
Instilling total fear for everyone.
I’ll hide my own work and then leave this place.
There’s nowhere safe at all for careful thought.
With profile low, I’ll have to hide my face,
Seek refuge somewhere else, before I’m caught.
I thought that there was hope with latest pope,
But Paul the Fifth, just like Clement the Eight
Decided just to let the cardinals cope
With Inquisition’s mad doctrine of faith.
Dark times coincide with intolerance.
Our golden Renaissance could now be stifled.
We thought that honest proof would give a chance,
Before the bigoted church fathers trifled.
Been disillusioned now quite terribly.
I’m just a simple lad from Italy.


Author Notes
The Renaissance and the Inquisition occurred at the same time. In this story, I tried to imagine what it must have been like to live at this time of massive contradiction as Columbus’ discovery of the new world challenged old concepts that the world was flat. It was a time when the Greek philosophies were rediscovered and new ideas of science, engineering, and art exploded, while the church continued to attempt to suppress these new ideas. The character is fictitious, a fellow academic scholar at Padua University where Galileo and Bruno were professors.
At times in this poem I used the feminine iambic format. In those instances, the syllable count became 11 to accommodate the extra downbeat in meter.
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642), often known mononymously as Galileo, was tried by the Inquisition and imprisoned for life for his beliefs.
Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600), was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer. He is celebrated for his cosmological theories. He correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space, and claimed as well that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds, identified as planets orbiting other stars. He was arrested for heresy and taken to Rome to be tried. His trial lasted 7 years while he vigorously defended himself. But finally, he was burned at the stake at the central market place. Source: Wikipedia.
Quid pro quo – I used this in the sense the he vigorously defended against every allegation.
This poem is a Crown of Heroic Sonnets.
The Crown of heroic sonnets is a sequence of seven heroic sonnets usually addressed to one person. It is concerned with a single theme and each sonnet explores a different aspect of the theme and is linked to the preceding and succeeding sonnets by repeating the final line of the preceding sonnet as its first line and by having its final line be the first line of the succeeding sonnet.
The first line of the first sonnet is repeated as the final line of the final sonnet thereby bringing the sequence to a close.
A Heroic Sonnet is an iambic pentameter based poem that adds a heroic couplet to either two Sicilian octave stanzas or four Sicilian quatrain stanzas. In other words, it’s eighteen lines of iambic pentameter broken into three or five parts with the last part being a couplet. The rhyme scheme has usually been a,b,a,b,a,b,a,b – c,d,c,d,c,d,c,d – e,e OR a,b,a,b – c,d,c,d – e,f,e,f – g,h,g,h – i,i.
I chose the latter.
The picture is taken from Yahoo Images.



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Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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