wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Postcards from Florence 4 of 5  HOME 


Fra Savonarola, Prior of St Marks,
expelled the Medici in 1494, proclaiming

Jesus Christ king of Florence, and himself
his political executive, his people drunk  

on a fanatic passion. In just four years—
the term of a US President—they had turned, ashamed  

at the morning-after evidence of their excess, and found
heresies enough to roast him in the same piazza  

where so short a time before they burned their pagan books,
where we sit now and drink our Pinot Grigiot 

and eat vitello slightly charred, too late to save
Savonarola, too late to join or reason with the mob 

who welcomed back the devil they knew best,
the Medici and their motto: Semper, always.

Fourth of five poems in the sequence Postcards from Florence.

Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.