Archivi tag: English

Liberi Pensatori: Federica Galli was born in Soresina

Federica Galli was born in Soresina and spent her youth in the countryside around Cremona.

Thence wath Testori calls her “lombardita’ ” or “padanita’ “, the somehow over-whelming feeling of being born in the Lombard valley of the river Po.

What is this feeling then? It is the result of, as Federica herself remembers, “perching on the apple’s branches for hours on end, to understand trees”.

This she used to do in her childhood near Cremona.
“Understand” trees: she could not possibly have used a better word. Immersed as she was in the nature of that Lombard landscape, ready to receive, humble and curious as only a child can be, Federica filled her soul with that nature, slowly understanding it.
She could grasp the mystery of its contradictions, she could grasp its universal laws.
She could understand that the perfection of that nature was not a static, given truth, was not a state of motionless impassive beauty. Or that was not all of it…
Federica has then nature in herself, with nature she measures everything.
When in her hunts, or better her pilgrimages, she spots that tree, that farm or that ditch, it is as if she could suddenly taste the madeleine, if she could taste the Time Past.

In sheer excitement she searches in herself, in the nature which is part of herself, the remembrance and the confirmation of the inner truth that that very tree is the sign of peace she was looking for. But nature in her own blood has no dimension, no measure, it cannot be engraved on a copper plate. It needs a size to it, a measure, an excuse, a madeleine.

A few lines will then suffice, a few dots to give the memory a size, a volume.
A few lines and a few dots which only reality can provide.

Federica, who knows nature better than any of us, knows that nature can not be invented: and that its phenomena are not like the fixed rules of a well-known law.

Nature’s perfection, its absolute magnitude, reveals itself always new, unexpected, always surprising even to the artist who is its daughter and its lover.

Federica knows that if she invented a tree which did not exist she would arrogate to herself a right which is not hers, she knows that she would betray the silent oath she took caressing the apple tree’s bark.

[from: “Federica Galli – Acqueforti”, David Landau, Ed. Compagnia del disegno – Milano – oct. 1982]

 

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Liberi pensatori: Walt Whitman

Nacque nel 1819, nel West Hill (vicino Hultington – Long Island), ma ben presto la sua famiglia si trasferì a Brooklyn. Crebbe a New York, leggendo moltissimo per conto proprio e frequentando spesso i teatri.

Lavorò principalmente come tipografo e giornalista presso alcuni periodici e giornali, ma svolse anche altre attività.

La sua poesia attuò l’ideale auspicato da Emerson d’una cultura americana autonoma, radicata nella democrazia, ed insieme esalto` le forze della natura, trasfigurandole in un mistico panteismo.

Morì il 26 Marzo 1892, nel New Jersey, all’eta` di settantadue anni.

La poesia che Vi vogliamo presentare appartiene a Foglie d’erba, l’opera fondamentale di tutta la sua vita; ne pubblico` nove edizioni successive (la prima nel 1855 e l’ultima l’anno della sua scomparsa) ampliando ogni volta la raccolta precedente.

Con la sua poesia, innovativo nella forma del verso libero, Whitman volle essere un bardo americano che parla all’uomo comune, ispirandosi alle vicende del suo paese e dando espressione alla natura e allo spirito democratico e umanitario del Nuovo Mondo.

Una raccolta di sue opere
è stata pubblicata in Italia
a cura della Mondadori

0h Capitano! Mio Capitano!

Oh Capitano! Mio Capitano!
il nostro duro viaggio è finito,
la nave ha scapolato ogni tempesta,
il premio che cercavamo ottenuto, il porto è vicino,
sento le campane,
la gente esulta, mentre gli occhi seguono la solida chiglia, il vascello severo e audace:
ma, o cuore,
cuore,
cuore!
gocce rosse di sangue dove sul ponte il mio Capitano giace caduto freddo morto.

0 Capitano! Mio Capitano!
alzati a sentire le campane; alzati – per te la bandiera è gettata – per te la tromba suona, per te i fiori, i nastri, le ghirlande –
per te le rive di folla per te urlano, in massa, oscillanti, i volti accesi verso di te;
ecco Capitano!
Padre caro!
Questo mio braccio sotto la nuca!
E’ un sogno che sulla tolda sei caduto freddo, morto.

Il mio Capitano non risponde,
esangui e immobili le sue labbra,
non sente il mio braccio, non ha battiti, volontà,
la nave è all’ancora sana e salva,
il viaggio finito, dal duro viaggio la nave vincitrice torna, raggiunta la meta;
esultate rive, suonate campane!
Ma io con passo funebre cammino sul ponte dove il Capitano giace
freddo,
morto.

Walter Whitman (he became “Walt” as part of his self-invention) was born of Quaker parentage on May 31, 1819 in West Hill (near Huntington), Long Island. He taught in various Long Island schools and worked for several newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle. By his mid-thirties he had still not displayed the slightest hint of his unique talent and vision. He published “Leaves of Grass” himself in 1855, and mailed a copy to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who immediately recognized the book’s unusual worth.
Whitman was enormously affected by the Civil War, and published a series of wartime poems under the title “Drum-Taps.” These poems, like many others, were eventually folded into “Leaves of Grass,” which Whitman added to throughout his life, publishing nine different editions. Known as the Good Gray Poet, by the end of his life Whitman was a tremendous literary celebrity.

Walt Whitman died on March 26, 1892 in Camden, New Jersey.

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