Italy has a long history of setting up Presepi at Christmas time, both at home and in public places. I just finished reading an article in the "Italian Notebook" which I find interesting and hopefully you will too.
The article titled
'Presepi in a Presepe' and is written by GB Bernardini. It is about the Presepi in a very
unusual town called Artena. Artena is near Rome in the Lazio Region.
The above is one of the Presepe in the town. The sign says "We will be back soon, Joseph and Mary.
I love the humor!
In honor of this special day I
present to you Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia. Elena was the first
woman in Europe to graduate from a University. She studied and received
her degree from the University of Padua, Italy.
Elena was born in
Venice on June 5, 1646. Her father, a wise man in my opinion, wanted
his daughter to be educated (a novel idea for those times). Elena was an
avid learner, could speak several languages, was fluent in Latin. While
at the University she had sought a degree in Theology but the thinking
of the times did not allow women in the field of Theology. The degree
conferred on her was a Doctorate of Philosophy, she received it on June
25, 1678. It is reported that 30 thousand people showed up for the
graduation ceremonies which took place at the Cathedral. Records show
that her acceptance speech lasted three hours and was given totally in
Latin. Elena died a young woman at the age of 38. The date was June 25,
Vassar's Thompson Library honors this fabulous woman with a beautiful window which tells Elena's story.
Politano from Amantea, Calabria, is my cousin’s husband. He is a poet,
essayist, teacher for over thirty years. As a poet, he has received a
number of awards, and has published several books of poems. The
following are the titles of some of his books:’ Il rumore del silenzio’;
‘Le parole, gli anni’; ‘Nel bosco dei palazzo’; ‘ Nell’atelier del
cuore’; ‘ Il fruscio delle cose’. His poems have been translated into
Spanish, French, and English.
Francesco’s last book has been
published in both Italian and Spanish. The titles are: ‘Il fruscio delle
cose’ in Italian, and ‘El murmullo de las cosas’ in Spanish. My
interpretation of the title is ‘The Whispering Of Things’.
In this last book he has included a poem dedicated to me, and one dedicated jointly to my husband and a cousin in Italy.
In his poems Francesco looks for meanings beyond the superficiality of
things/people, tries to find the roots/core of meaning. He looks for
ties between present and past, youth and old age, animals and inanimate
objects, internal and external situations. His verses are usually
narrative and descriptive, characterized by conciseness.
Poem dedicated to me, in Italian, Spanish, and English. The English
version is my rendition, hopefully the author will forgive me if I
missed the gist of the poem.
La Cugina Americana
“E’la fantasia piu’ grande La realta’ della vita”, nel suo blog la cugina americana dice agli antichi e ai nuovi amici.
La Prima Americana
“La fantasia mas grande es La realidad de la vida”, dice en su blog la prima americana a los antiguos y a los nuevos amigos.
The American Cousin
“The biggest fantasy is That life is real” Writes the American cousin in her blog To old and new friends.
2. Poem dedicated to my husband and our cousin Carmelo:
Fred e Carmelo
Fred e Carmelo, fotoartisti d’oggi. Respingono il banale Cercano d’afferare Il profondo splendore delle cose.
My translation into English:
Fred and Carmelo
Fred and Carmelo, today’s photo artists. They reject the ordinary Attempting to grasp The profound splendor of things.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH COUSINS FRANCESCO AND MARIA. FRANCESCO, YOU HONOR
US WITH YOUR BEAUTIFUL VERSES. WISHING YOU LOTS OF SUCCESS WITH THIS NEW