Saturday, September 4, 2010

Week's End - Fiammetta

It's too soon for autumn leaves but the photograph reminds me of fiammetta - little flame. Or, if you want to be picky about it, fiammette (plural, I am assuming & I'm not checking my dictionary. Correct me, I don't mind at all.) I've been reading Boccaccio via Keats (Isabella and the Pot of Basil). I was vaguely aware that Bocaccio was another Italian inspired by a woman who didn't look at him twice. (Petrarch, too.)

This past spring, I won La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales from Michelle Fabio's Bleeding Espresso. Dianne wrote a charming chapter on Italian's Literary Lions. As soon as I read, "For years I barely glanced at the white marble busts of Italy's grandi that line the shady paths of Rome's Pincio, the gardens above the Piazza del Popolo," I thought/yelled "I noticed!" But Dianne was doing something I have never done in Rome--jogged. I salute her - it's a great place to run.

I'm in more fragile health & feeling Keats-y, so if there today, I'd be walking by that gorgeous view & sighing. Mainly about the horrible news from Italy & France that Roma are being treated worse than usual. I'm beyond upset. (You just knew I'd turn this into something sad, right? An editor once said to me...you turn a lovely poem into the apocalypse every damn time. Crikey. -- he was English. Then he went on to say something rude about melancholic Welsh ethnic stuff. Harumph.)


Where are the writers, the artists, the poets, the philosophers? (They are actually still valued in some fashion in Europe, unlike here in America.) Well, there are protests, yes. I'll find individual names as soon as I post this. But Italy. France. Shame. Your noble pasts will be so much cold marble statuary lining grand avenues if you continue this outrage. We'll leave WWII out of this, ahem, for now. (I'm talking to you, too, Hungary.) Scapegoats. Remind you of anything? Suddenly, flaming red maples, little flames licking at the blue sky don't seem so innocent.

Apologies to Dianne, for using her charming love letter to Italian in this manner. I did not plan it (obviously, or I'd taken more care with grammar). But that's it; I can't do much more today or the rest of the weekend. Here's where you can buy it (& visit Dianne). I definitely recommend it. This know-it-all didn't know most of it (so far). Giulia Geranium is supposed to start again on Tuesday; but I'm postponing it until I see friends off to Sudan next Sunday.

(The beautiful Jen Gotch photograph via Joanna Goddard's Cup of Jo)

6 comments:

Ian said...

There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.
Plato

Jen said...

I think actually, that their pasts (Rome's and France's) have been seeped in various forms of xenophobia, proud history or no.

Have you read Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonseca? It's one of my favorite books and beautifully written. It's probably becoming dated now, but it's a sociological study of Roma in various settings across the globe.

Giulia said...

Ian--yes, but Plato wanted it to be "his" form of philosophy. But it is a thought. I think I've sunk myself here with my rant. Ah well. Thanks.

Jen--Yes, absolutely. I was being too flip, behaving as though I was a shaming auntie & would allow them to gloss over their horrific pasts. I didn't do a good job of it, though. I merely put in the 'we'll talk about WWII later...' but of course in my mind was Dreyfus, etc. And don't get me started on the blood-steeped Roman Empire.

No, I have not read Fonseca's book though I know who she is, so maybe I've read something else. I'm popping over to a library archive to see if I can borrow it. Thanks so much.

simon said...

Your 2nd last paragraph.. ..flaming red maples,...

I took a photo one morning, at dawn and the sky was burning..It was filled with a sunrise that interacted with the mist and turned everything to orange- including the maple trees. I will have to dig the photos out and post them..it was as if the world was on fire...

simon said...

well... I just had to post about a "flame dawn" we had here in Aus....

Giulia said...

Simon--I see gorgeous color coming through in the Bits n Bobs thumbnail. I'll come comment, no doubt while you in Australia are tucked in tight. It's a holiday here...but I'm mostly lying down. (No apologies about typos. Then I'll have to apologize every time I write a sentence lately:)

xoxo