6. Venantius Fortunatus. "Ex torqvet hoc sorte Dei veniabilie signvm [Carmen V]," c. 550-600.
Published here in: Geoffrey Cook, translator. A basket of chestnuts: from the miscellanea of Venantius Fortunatus. Cherry Valley, NY: Cherry Valley Editions, 1981. First edition.
Davis Library.

This unfinished poem by Fortunatus gives valuable insight into the creative process. Here he has constructed the framework of the lines (or "intexts") which will be rubricated or otherwise highlighted, yet he has only begun filling in the "main" poem, which by necessity comes later since the letters of the intext framework partially dictate its content. The diamond around the cross was a popular motif in carmina cancellata, visually suggesting the mandorla (almond shapes) that frequently surround holy figures in medieval painting and illustration. The English translation by Geoffrey Cook reveals that the main poem is somewhat clumsy (for example, line 2, "Isaiah prediction oh orders o heavenly...") compared to the more tightly structured intexts.

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