[Milton-L] The TeaM: I Love NY

Enna Martina eoor at planet.nl
Wed Dec 22 07:05:28 EST 2010

Dario, Samuel Johnson, too, was fond of (London) city life. His famous
quotation goes : "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life".

Best wishes,

Enna Martina.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dario Rivarossa" <dario.rivarossa at gmail.com>
To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:11 AM
Subject: [Milton-L] The TeaM: I Love NY

> Sono città del suo valor superbe,
> E di bellezza e d’arte varie e d’opre
> Maravigliose, e di edifici eccelsi,
> Od onorate pur di gloria antica,
> Che dal nascer del giorno al sol cadente,
> E talor anco insin che gira intorno
> La fredda notte il suo stellato carro,
> Empion di turba lieta e di festante
> Piazze, campi, teatri adorni e logge,
> Ove a’ diletti vari intende e passa
> L’ore del dì fugaci e le notturne
> Lunghe ed algenti; e nel volar del tempo
> Pur se medesima volontaria inganna.
> _____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 3.1-13
> There’re cities proud of being of value,
> And rich in beauty, art, and magnificent
> With works and highest buildings,
> Or honored because of ancient glory,
> Which – from sun dawn to sunset,
> And sometimes as long as cold Night
> Drives her starry cart around –
> Fill with happy and joyful crowd
> Squares, grounds, adorned theaters, arcades:
> There they take to fun and spend
> The fleeting hours of day, and night,
> Long and chilly; and as time flies by
> They voluntarily themselves deceive.
> An Italian saying reads: “Chi disprezza, compra”. Something like,
> “Despiser: buyer”. Tasso does his best to convince us that life in a
> big city is sinful and disgusting. But in describing it he achieves
> the peak of poetry. It is a side effect that occurs quite often in Il
> Mondo Creato; an unintentional admission that the poet likes what he
> tries to refuse. Exactly as it will happen with Milton, in fact, who
> according to his sharp reader William Blake “was on devil’s side”.
> These verses, moreover, are specifically interesting because they are
> the first description, in Italian “high” poetry, of life in a modern
> city, with jobs and entertainment lasting all day and all night long.
> In vv. 22 ff the layabouts admire sort of a disco dancer. So, c’mon, a
> very enjoyable page.
> In PL the maximum tribute to London will be: “As one who long in
> populous city pent, / Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air”,
> 9.445-446. Not to speak of Blake. The two Britons were ready to
> revalue Satan: not the Big City. Tasso, indirectly, did. (He was fond
> of Naples, even though it was not his homeland. And right in Naples
> Milton will have the opportunity to read Il Mondo Creato.)
> - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Holiday break. Both columns, Paradise Drawn and The TeaM, will restart
> in the first week of January.
> to all of you!
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