Do as all children who not only, when they are a bit ‘lifted, play and jump with some of their song well-rhythmic, but when they are still poppanti, and make the forest, with measure and cadence stutter between themselves and their rows of pa pa and ma ma.
And in this it is right because it is nature. You are still in the presence of the new world, and make use of the new word to mean it. The world is born for everyone born in the world. And in this it is the mystery of your essence and your function. You are very old, or child! And very old is the world that you see again! It is primitive the rhythm (not this or that, but the rhythm in general) with which you, in a certain way, you rock and dance! How foolish are those who want to rebel or one or the other of these two needs, which seem to clash with each other: see again and see from ancient, and say what has never said and say as always said and it will be said! And they rebel, the ones with clever gestures of pedants: This metaphor is not in … (and here is the name of a more recent poet by hand); the others with pugnacious attitudes of innovators: This is not very unheard of and inaudible! Those are in general old, that every authority believes in old age; and these, young people who imagine every strength in their youth; these are more boring than those, because a pride is always impertinent, and the other is never without sadness, and because if one no longer understands, by senile deafness, the witty chatter of the child, the others do not they still intend, for that cackling they do, miserably proud, around their young self. And, indeed, young people are not, that they are, if they were, they would not notice. Being an old man, one realizes yes, sometimes, and then he dresses, dyes himself, shouts to a young man. Is this the case with you, old ladies?
In any case, peace. Know that for poetry, youth is not enough: childhood takes us!
You are wise, and I’m happy. You do not want to repeat the already mentioned or find the unspeakable: you do not want to be neither an uselessness nor a vanity. You want the new, but you know that in things it is the new, for those who know how to see it, and you will not be tempted to find it, overbearing and sophisticated. The new one does not invent: it turns out. So I’m happy, to say it between us, that is to say, between me … But let’s get straight away: I do not give you much praise of this, because I do not see much merit. Such as? Wait and be patient, which is better for me to go for long. And first I would like to ask you a question. An end, do you have it? Outside, of course, of that just to say or to give? And can you tell me, which one? I need to know that. You do not answer? Think? outcomes? you doubt? Imagine that this end is not, for example, to give some help, to provide a little gold to your old guest, who is so in need of it. Imagine, in fact I know, that you do not know other gold than metaphorical, that is, that you do not spend. Laugh? Mind you. I know for sure that you do not believe to procure me a useful material directly, but I suspect that you appear to proclaim it indirectly, adding that I do not know what a favor to my poor person and that I value my humble virtues, so that the industry, which you know what army, you make me something more. Well, you’d get it wrong. Know that it is the opposite; and that it is reasonable that it is the opposite. You are a child: now not everyone knows how to distinguish you child from me old, and because I feel and see dolls sometimes, they willingly believe that I always baby, even when I work seriously, to earn my life. That is why they least appreciate those serious works, and I find it less useful. And they are wrong. Always? Know that they are not always wrong. They have, for example, reason (I do not speak only of myself, but of many others), when among my arguments, which should not be just and fair and clear, they see your smiles and your cries appear. See: the sparrows are pretty birds (also: why not?); but in the sown the peasants do not want them, graceful as they are. The spadacciole are beautiful flowers; but among the wheat it would be much better than there were none. But they are so beautiful to see! I do not deny that they can delight someone: they do not delight anyone who hopes for the profit of that grain. Do you understand? If even there is someone who likes your whistles and your flashes in the middle of a reasoning that would be serious, most can not be that you do not mind. And do you know what happens? These, finding you so out of place, do not think that you are the child by the Argentine voice, but they believe in you to hear the hoary man, the man who speaks to deceive; and shout: Rhetoric! Now to avoid such an exchange to you and such damage to me, it would not hurt that when I look back on my own business, you went away and slept in the deep woods of Idalia amid the odorous bush of the amarac. If you knew Plato, I would tell you that as he is right in wanting poets to make mythous and not logous, fairy tales and no reasoning, so I did not wrong in demanding that the reasoners make logous and not mythous. But too much it is difficult to find those who are happy to do only what they have to do. And Plato himself … But he was Plato.
Returning to us, therefore, no profit, neither direct nor indirect, comes from you, or child. As you can say, nobody. Which indeed would it be? Speaks!
Well! You sang and said: you sang stanzas and said truth. And it comes to my mind that beyond such a truth, so to speak, usual, of which I witness to you, there is under your saying a truth more repost and less common, to which, however, the conscience of all responds immediately with assent. Which? This: that poetry, as it is poetry, poetry without adjective, has a supreme moral and social utility. And you did not reason, to reveal your end to me. You said what you see and hear. And by saying this, you have perhaps expressed what the end of poetry is. Now it’s up to me to think about it. Whoever considers it well, understands that it is the poetic sentiment, which pays the shepherd of his hut, the bourgeois of his furnished apartment, although without good taste, but with much patience and diligence; and go saying. Or is it the opposite? And the shepherd who, parrying the sheep, dreams of a shop to be opened in the nearby village , and the bourgeois who fantasizes of a palace in a big and noisy city, are, yes, imaginative poets and dreamers, and the others do not ? Already, for me, other is a poetic feeling, other is fantasy: which can be moved and animated by that feeling, but it can also not be. Poetry is to find in things, how can I say? their smile and their tear; and this is done by two childish eyes that look simply and serenely between the dark tumult of our soul.
Sometimes, not seeing anything bright and beautiful in the things that surround them, they close to dreaming and looking far away. But even in the neighboring things it was what they were looking for, and not having found it, it was a defect, not of poetry in things, but of sight in the eye. You say (I do not speak to you, now, or child, but to such children), you say that the poetic feeling abounds more in those who, twisting or looking up from the present, you find only beautiful and worthy of his singing the flowers of American agaves, or who do you admire and admire even the small tassels, color little cricket, of the burnet, on the rock in which it sits? And I do not want to say that this sentiment does not abound in the first, and does not even find itself united with other virtues of science and fantasy that make it rightly admirable; though, as more easily he moves, so soon his reader is bored, and, at any way, since things absent, or never seen, are always wonderful to everyone, he does as the man who claims to be to have rejoiced with his little novels the auditor who, though listening, had drunk widely of the repressing wine. He was, perhaps, witty and festive: but he who rejoices with his frank word, without the need for glasses, has greater merit.
Therefore the poetic sentiment is intense, from those who find poetry in what surrounds it, and in what other thresholds deserve, not those who do not find it there and must make efforts to look for it elsewhere. And this sentiment is extremely beneficial, which puts a gentle and light brake on the indefatigable desire, which perpetually makes us run with unhappy anxiety through the path of happiness. Oh! who knew how to strengthen it in those who have it, stop it in those who are to lose it, insinuate it in those that are missing, would not make human life more useful than any more ingenious troubadour of comfort and medicine? And I can not say how much the communion of men would benefit from it; especially in these times when the race to the impossible happiness is so lightning contempt in those who go on, with so much desperation envy those who remain behind. Already in other times he saw a poet (I am not even worthy to pronounce your holy name, or Parthenias!), He saw the rolling circle of the passion , the vertiginous quarters: and those times were similar to these, and the conflagration of the world flashed on the horizon in a war of all against everyone and everyone against each one: and that Poet felt that over the beasts and the monsters the harp of Orpheus that the club of Hercules had even more power. And he made poetry, without thinking of anything else, without giving himself airs of counselor, admonitor, prophet of good and bad wishes: he sang, to sing. And I can not measure what the effect of his singing was; but great was certain, if it lasts until now, gently vibrating in our restless souls. O rhymes of tribune sentences, or versifiers of social theorists, who exclude from the present hour every poem that is not yours, that is to say, exclude poetry, tell me: It was or was not in its place, in the century of Augustus, the Georgics singer? Yes, is not it? He taught to love life in which it was not the spectacle nor painful of misery nor envious of wealth: he wanted to abolish the struggle between classes and war among peoples. What do you, or socialist poets, who say so many different things and you say so differently from him?
Of the two fraternal poets Augustei (which we can not speak of Virgil without adding Horace) you will say that it was the philosophy that led them to that healthy and pious reason to consider society and life. And no: it was the little boy who brought them by the hand, saying: I will tell you where poetry and virtue are at the same time. It was the little boy who, if anything, made them choose among the philosophers’ opinions those that confirmed their sentiment.
Consider. Cato and Varrone wrote about agriculture before Virgil. They were men of much judgment and know, they. For example, Cato, suggesting to the pater familias what he has to say and do, when he goes to the villa, he concludes: “Sell the oil, if you sell well; the wine, the wheat left over, sells it. The oxen, the mares no longer good, so the sheep, the wool, the skins, an old barrel, old shoes, an aged slave, a slapped slave, and other stuff that is too much, sell it. A father of a family must pull to sell, not to buy. ” Those slaves, between old scrap and other things, make sense to us; yet it was natural that they should be named at that point. Varro in fact refers to this elegant distinction of the things with which the fields are cultivated: “Others divide them into three kinds: a vocal, semivocal and silent instrument; vocal, in which they are the slaves, semivocal in which they are the bovi, dumb where they are the chariots “. It is natural, of course, that Virgil wrote on purpose on agriculture, in verse but not in fantasy, in verse but after having studied the subject also in the books of others, he spoke at every moment, as well as the plains and the bovi, of that principal instrument of cultivation that were the slaves. We, for example, must expect that as it teaches what to give, grasses and fodder herbs, to the breed foal, and to the steers that are tamed, not just grass and branches of salice and paleo of padule, but also seedlings of new-born wheat, so teach the good landlord on bread and cheese, wine and clothing, to be supplied to the family. Speaking of olives, it is certain that he will think of the pulmentarium familiae. Cato, Grand Master, also says: “Indulge as much as you can, from olives caschereccie. So the olives are good too, from which only a little oil can come out, indulge them: and make great savings, so that they last as long as possible. When the olives are eaten, it gives allec and vinegar ». It seemed good to me, to talk about these olives to be stored for slaves, and so did the clothes; that could fall into cut, about the wool, make for example such an observation: “when a slave gives a new tunic or a new coat, first withdraw the old man, to make casacche to patches (centones) ». In short, these and similar provisions were good enough to put themselves in beautiful verses with the grace of the poet who knows how to talk solemnly and severely with humble things.
Oh! Yup! There are no slaves for Virgil. In his poems there is never even the word servus: there is servant twice, and about other times and other customs: times and customs in which the poet sees but the kings served by many slaves; yet he calls these famuli and ministers, not servants. But its fields, those it taught to cultivate, those that arava and sowed with its sweet verses, those do not have people chained and complied. The poet who in the first of the pastoral eclogues puts himself in the person of a freed slave, has proclaimed in the Italian countryside that word that with so much emphasis sounds from his mouth of Tityros: libertas. The agricultural Virgil are neither slaves nor mercenaries. They are of those spoken of by Varrone, who cultivate the land on their own, like so many possessions with their offspring. Virgil has this in mind when he exclaims that they would be so happy, if they knew their happiness, with so much peace, with so much fruit, so beautiful, without the rodio or the misery or the overwhelming of others, working on his season, enjoying the family at home and the dear parties outside. Of people who work for others, not even a trace. The ideal of the poet is that old Cilice, transplanted from his homeland near Taranto. He had had a few iugeri of land not good neither to grain nor to meadow or to vineyard: a grillaia, a tent. Well, the good old man had made a vegetable garden, with not only his cabbages, but also lilies and roses, and fruit trees, and bees, and plant nurseries. Yes: little and little was the dream of the two great fraternal poets. Virgil used to say: praise the great countryside, and keep the little one. And Horace: This was my vow: a little field not so big, with a vegetable garden, with a spring, and in addition a little wild. Who should not prefer the great campaign to the small, when it does not touch to cultivate it to him? But to the two poets, when they were poets, this simple consideration did not present itself to thought. To put it better, the child in them preferred, like all children, what is small: the little horse, the baby carriage, the little rabbit. Oh! there are those who rebuked this love of mediocrity in Orazio! But being a poet of mediocrity does not really mean being a mediocre poet. On the contrary, indeed, it is true. He does not love, who says he loves a menagerie of women. He is not a poet, he is not fixed in a vision that his eyes can measure. And the great things, the rich things, the sublime things can not be poetic, if they are not heard or said in person of those who amaze them, because it is small, it is poor, it is humble. The poet is the poor man of humanity, often also blind and old. And if such does not seem, if indeed he is a great lord and young and happy, well it means that if he is rich, it is pauperculus but the little boy who is in him; that is, he is kept poor, as if to say a child. Because poor is always the baby, even if born in a cradle of gold, and always tends his hand to everything and everyone, as he had nothing , and wants the morsel of hard bread of his mate, and would like to do the hard work of his troubled companion.
This is why Virgil not his own, but the boy he had in his heart, did not want slaves in the fields. Will we say that Virgil drew this law of liberty from the books of some philosopher or prophet? No: he himself was perhaps unaware of this freedom he proclaimed. It was his poetry that abolished servitude, because servitude was not poetic. It was not poetic, and the divine child who sees only what is poetic, did not see it. So much so that if we did not have the times of Virgil another witness than Virgil, we should believe that there was no longer this misery and shame that has not ceased even to our times. Oh! we should believe that Christ, not even born, inspired the peasant poet of the Esperia, like the vaticinio of his advent, so the presentiment of the great human brotherhood! There is no slavery in Virgilian Italy: there is not even the wage earner, not even the sharecropper!
So the true poet, without doing it on purpose and without leaving it, bringing, to put it with Dante, the light behind, indeed no, inside, inside the dear soul bringing the splendor and ardor of the lamp that is poetry; it is, as we say today, socialist, or as one would say, human. So the poetry, not to other intonata than to poetry. is the one that improves and regenerates humanity, excluding evil from it, purposely, but of course the impoetico. Now it is found that the moral is what morality recognizes bad and what the aesthetic proclaims ugly. But what is bad and ugly does not judge, in our case, the bearded philosopher. It is the inner child who sucks. Which as narrating the exploits of his heroes, and saying all of them, and, beyond battles and speeches, even meals and sleeps, and figuring to us, for example, their horses, and laughing that they were burning and sweating and foaming even if it never says (you see that I procure as much as I can, that you do not twist the nose) it never says that they were stable; so of our soul does not tell that the good and our vision does not remember that beauty. That in order to sing evil one must make a continuous effort on oneself, unless it is madness. And in this case, madness lies precisely in this, of thinking good and singing bad guys.
So, dear child, those who attribute, for what you do not see that the good, some merit of goodness to the one who is hosting you, are very wrong. Who can also be a masnadiero, and have within him a child who sings the delights of peace and innocence, and the house where he no longer has to rest, and the church where he can no longer pray.