He coined the Petrarchan sonnet
With brilliance under his bonnet
A humanist eye
On this Renaissance guy
Said love is a bitch when you want it


His poetry paired with his art
Deep feelings of love did impart
His words were ironic
His verses harmonic
Tomasso won over his heart


We all need a Prince for a leader
So Niccolo wrote to each reader
Humans are bad
So we need a strict dad
To control every selfishness breeder

Thomas More

His invented Utopian land
Had no single source of command
With everything shared
All would be repaired
But there’s no way to swing this as planned

Robert Bolt

He called it “A Man For All Seasons”
Titled for uncertain reasons
About Thomas More
Who was led to the door
For objecting King Henry’s great treasons


The man makes the man (not the clothes)
His essays enlightening prose
What you do doesn’t count
Who you are will surmount
Contradiction is fine, so it goes

Veronica Franco

Mothers: listen to Franco’s advice
Don’t give your daughters a price
To Hell with the rules,
Those who follow are fools
Our Veronica didn’t play nice


The vision belongs to the blind
And nature o’erpowers mankind
We see what we feel
But Lear cannot conceal
The fact that he’s losing his mind


Satan was father of lies
In this epic Torquato’d comprise
Once he read Virgil’s verses
And learned Dante’s curses
Christianity prohibits demise


The greatness of Paradise Lost
Will forever in gold be embossed
Good came from The Fall
And forgiveness is all
Once the line of destruction is crossed


A defense of the Christian religion
Often no more than a smidgeon
His fragments were bold
And his sentiments told
His Penseés would need no abridgein’


Kant was a man of formality
But lived quite far out of reality
He thought people were “ends”
And had very few friends
And deemed reason the source of morality


Once spoke the Shakespeare of Germany:
“Emotions will always determine-y”
This man was quite passive
His torment was massive
And said pleasure of flesh was just vermin-y


Wordsworth, good Shelley, and Keats
Sought nature in all their retreats
They hated convention
Some birds they would mention
So the nightingale darklingly tweets


Shelley would make a good teacher
But scientists just might impeach-her
When they read how absurd
Science seems through her word
As she begs us to side with the creature


Flaubert was a man who loved feeling
His Three Tales were all too revealing
He was—and I swear it—
Obsessed with a parrot
His women were far from appealing


Leopardi did nothing but read
His dialogues prove this indeed
Great and unhappy
Or ungreat and happy?
Nature and Soul disagreed


“We shouldn’t survive yet we do”
Our Christian beliefs just fell through
The first existential
Saw classics essential
To bid this religion “adieu”


Alyosha, Dmitri, and Ivan
Combined with each other enliven
The whole of the man
Through a trilogy plan
Lose one and the man is depriven


Our very first genuine realist
Depression and grief did he feel-ist
His style was raw
But the truth was his law
This blunt man was far from a theorist


Our instincts: sex, violence and power
Will happiness promptly devour
But laws we impose
And these faults we expose
Till society turns us all sour