Caravaggio Dreams

Caravaggio’s last painting – The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula 1610

Ah, Caravaggio, you come to me in a dream.

We both hold on to the darkness –
painting canvases seeped in sanguine.

Red is the color of my cheeks
as I blush when our finger tips brush.

Do you not see what I’ve buried deep,
has dug itself out to find me?

Feel how my fears quake
as the waking sun’s rays illuminate.

It’s light that blinds,
yet all the while pretends to mend.

I clutch fast to the shadows
and nod in acquiescence.


*Michelangelo Amerighi da Caravaggio is considered to be the greatest Italian painter of the Seventeenth Century. Arrogant, hot-headed, and extremely talented, he would cause turbulence wherever he would go. It is said that his last painting, The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, was painted while Caravaggio bled from a deep wound to his face. A vengeful knight had sliced him with a sword, and he was literally bleeding as he worked on the painting. Only a few months later, Caravaggio would be dead at the age of thirty-one due to what historians surmise as malaria. I suppose he angered the mosquitoes, as well!

My poem was inspired byΒ my irrepressible friend, Charles (Crow), and his poetry, Underground.


  1. This is one of the best of your longer poems that I’ve read so far, in my opinion. There is a lot going on both on and below the surface here that is beautiful and erotic but also terrifying. Truly powerful work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Can you imagine being intensely passionate about something, that you’re willing to bleed to death for it? I read Caravaggio’s vision was affected by his wound, that the way he painted, actually was altered. His is a fascinating story. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to convey about this amazing man. If you find the time, please read Crow’s poem, Underground. I’ve underlined the words below which will bring you to it. It inspired my poem, as well.

      I always look forward to your insight on my work. You’re one of the reasons why I enjoy sharing my writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, he was banished from Italy, came back, I believe that ended up dying on a beach ( I can’t quite recall my Art History) returning. He pissed off the Pope, because he had drawn the Madonna’s feet, barefoot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an excellent poem. I live so many lines from this.

    Did you ever see Simon Schama’s Power of Art? He did one show on Caravaggio. Really interesting and powerful portrayal. I also enjoyed the Bernini episode. But it was all good, definitely worth watching.

    Thanks for citing me as an inspiration. But I assure you, I can be pressed. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Loved the poem, Rose. So evocative of Michelangelo’s character, which it seems, was a blend of creative genius, passion and temper – all erupting at the same time like a volcano, blinding all with its glare and commotion.

    Liked by 1 person

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