Tuesday, February 14, 2006

that sweet artificer, the earth...

Valentine, the eponymous protagonist of my most recent novel, is a skeptic and a naturalist at a time -- the 3rd century A.D. -- when the Roman world is awash in mysticism, superstition and religious strife. He would, by yesterday's definition, be called a bright, along with others of the ancient world such as Lucretius, who wrote: "Men are afraid because they see things on earth and in the heavens that they cannot explain, and so suppose them to be caused by the will of gods." Valentine strives to find his way to goodness, but he comes to an untimely demise. There is a happy ending, of course, if not for Valentine, then for the woman he loves.

And speaking of love, the great poem of Lucretius begins with a hymn to Venus:
    ....Ah, goddess of the spring
And pleasant days, when warm west winds
Stir the amorous air, and high in the sky
The chorusing birds attend your coming,
The promise of love...

Happy Valentine's Day to my nearest and dearest reader.