Hey Bambini! Manicddaily, a/k/a Karin Gustafson here, on October 12.
When I was little, I was taught that Columbus discovered America on this very day. When I was a bit older, I was taught that the Vikings discovered America, a few hundred years earlier. When I was considerably older, and history had turned around and had a look at its backside, I focused on the fact that there were actually people living here before both Columbus and the Vikings. Which meant that, for all the explorers’ fearlessness, it no longer seemed quite accurate to talk of them “discovering” America. (I also learned things about Columbus’s treatment of these prior inhabitants that made him seem considerably less than heroic.)
But for all of that, I still have a great fondness for October 12, Columbus Day. Not so much because of the Columbus part, but because it is generally experienced here in New York City and State as a primo fall day in which things Italian are celebrated–
And I love things Italian! Italian food, Italian music, Italian movies, Italian painting, the Italian language, Italian poetry!
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
MIDWAY upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
(Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy-Inferno, Henry Longfellow translation)
From my point of view–lost midway in the journey of my life–it really does not get much better than that.
So, my fellow viaggiatori, your poetic prompt for the day is to think about something–anything–Italian, and then write a poem about it. As always, this prompt is a springboard only. I do not expect you to write a poem about your general take on Italian culture.
Of course, you CAN write such a poem –but your poem can stem from anything that even just tilts Italian. Yes, that includes a certain leaning tower. But it also includes the morning you uplifted your sick dad with the youtube video of Paul Potts singing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. It also includes the smell of spaghetti sauce wafting through your bedroom window as a child and the great sadness you felt because it was always your neighbor’s sauce.
Sure, you can contemplate of the Sistene Chapel or lots of other great Italian art. But your poem can also simply study the sweat on the glasses of Coke at your favorite pizza parlor (the one where the pizza guy’s missing a thumb part).
What about the first time you read The Godfather–and all those pages you secretly revisited in bed? (Please note that I do not mean here to insult Italian American culture–I just wanted to use this pic– )
Bene! So, write whatever comes to mind, just try to write it a la vongole (with clams)!
And per piacere–please–PLEASE–keep your amici in mind. Visit the work of your fellow bloggers!
For those who are new here, here’s the drill:
- Think about something Italian–even just an Italian verse form=write a poem and post it to your web page;
- Click Mr. Linky below and enter the URL (web address) to your poem;
- There you will find others that have linked in—visit them, tell them what you like about their poem, what line moved you or something like that…people will be joining for the next 33 hours so check back;
- Promote yourself on social media—if you use #dversepoets we can find you easier and help promote you;
- Have fun.
For those interested–especially those approaching this in a more somber vein–here’s the trailer from one of my favorite movies of all time–La Strada by Federico Fellini. The blonde actress is Fellini’s wife, Giuletta Messina; the other stars are Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart.
Finally,–note that all graphics and content of this post, including the elephants, are mine, Karin Gustafson. And please check out my books on Amazon!
Finally, finally–for those of you who are Canadian–Happy Thanksgiving!