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Florence, A Walk With A View

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«Wer noch kein / Melancholiker ist, / Muß es hier werden»

At the first shadows upon Arcetri, step by step -absorbed
In thoughts - you descended from the Observatory to
Galileo avenue, and from there to Forte di Belvedere
And thus downtown, lit up by the silky lights of the

How right those verses from Czechowski,

The poet of the Death from the sky above Dresden.
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Florence, A Walk With A View
This is a translation of the poem Firenze, Passeggiata Con Vista by Fabrizio Frosini
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: life,nostalgia
A walk in Florence.

[English adaptation from my Italian text «Firenze, passeggiata con vista»]

{Note: Heinz Czechowski wrote a poem titled 'Selbstbildnis, Florenz' ['Self-portrait, Florence'], from where the lines: «Wer noch kein / Melancholiker ist, / Muß es hier werden» ['Who is not melancholic / here he becomes such.'}

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1. My line:
'How right [are] those verses from Czechowski' refers to «Melancholiker.. / Muß es hier werden» ['Who is not melancholic / here he becomes such.'].

2. My line:
'The poet of the Death from the sky above Dresden' refers to the fact that during World War II, when yet a child, he survived the allied bombing of his city, Dresden (february/april 1945) , that killed more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, and destroyed the entire city center. Before its destruction, Dresden was know as Florence on the Elbe (Elbflorenz) .

3. My line:
'Because there is but one path to follow: ' refers to «Denn es ist kein Geheimnis, / dass ein jeglicher nur einen Weg / Zu beschreiten hat: seinen.» { 'Since it is not a secret, / Everybody has only one path/ to follow: his own.' } in Czechowski's «MAN WEISS JA, UND WENN MAN NOCH NICHT WEISS» ['One knows, and if doesn't known, ']

4. Arcetri is a hill, in Florence, where an Astrophysical Observatory stands. It is close to 'Villa il gioiello', where Galileo Galilei lived from 1631 until his death (1642) .

5. Forte di Belvedere is a fortress built (1590-'95) by Bernardo Buontalenti by order of Ferdinando I de' Medici. Located on a hill, right up against the walls surrounding the Boboli Gardens (adjacent to Palazzo Pitti) , from there a spectacular view of Florence and its surrounding hills can be enjoyed.

* * * * *

(Fabrizio Frosini)
Michael Walker 10 November 2019

To see this photo and read your poem takes me back to my visit to Florence in mid-1974. I saw every I saw most of the artistic masterpieces.

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Fabrizio Frosini 15 November 2019

so good that you visited Firenze! Unfortunately, my dream of visiting New Zealand has not come true...: ( Cheers from Tuscany, Michael

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Michael Walker 15 November 2019

Should be, 'I saw the bridges over the River Arno with friends from the camping tour, and we walked down the Arcetri also.'

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Henry Tong 30 January 2018

I've been to Florenza for 3 times, each in a different mood. Last time I visited there, the stone paved streets were reflecting the evening glow. In front of Dante Aligheli's former residence I saw a family of pigeon basking under the last tint of sunlight. It was unforgettable.

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Fabrizio Frosini 30 January 2018

the hues of the sunset.. yes. I've tried to put that feeling in this poem

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Sabrina Gerhart 25 November 2016

Ich liebe Czechowski! it'sso beautiful to read a quote from him in your beautiful poem!

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Fabrizio Frosini 25 November 2016

nice to hear. I like Czechowski's poetry very much. Thank you for your kind words on my poem

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Michael Walker 11 May 2016

The poem and the photo take me back to my visit to Florence in 1974. I particularly like the reference to Galileo, and 'leave behind any anger and pain'. M. Walker.

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Fabrizio Frosini 12 May 2016

in '74.. well, Florence is much more chaotic these days.. :) But its beauties are still intact.. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my poems, dear Michael

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Navod Dilhara 01 March 2016

You have an impeccable capability of articulating.. Good luck

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Fabrizio Frosini 01 March 2016

Hi Navod. Thank you. So what about my advise to write some shorter poem? ;)

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Fabrizio Frosini 17 January 2016

well.. here it is a translation of my reply to Pamela Sinicrope - for the readers who can't understand Italian - Dear Pam, once again, you delved into the ‘spirit’ of a poem that means a lot to me, catching not only the text references but also those feelings that accompanied me that late afternoon, walking down from the top of the hill of Arcetri.. Having seen those places through your own eyes, walking there yourself, helped you to get into the spirit of my poem, but it’s your analytical skill, mediated by a keen intelligence and fine sensitivity (qualities that allow you to delve deep into my verses) , to make you such an excellent Literary Critic. From this point of view, being a Critic and a fine Poet yourself, you have done justice to Czechowski and me.. Thank you, my dear friend.

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Pamela Sinicrope 16 January 2016

Florence, A Walk With A View, by Frosini, is an exercise in perspective, borne out in one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and was once the birthplace of the Renaissance. Beauty, nature, scenery, amazing architecture, art, and culture abound in this magical place. If this poem were written by anyone else, I would assume I was about to go on a one-dimensional poetic journey of beauty. However, with Frosini, I am usually prepared for a layer of darkness and philosophy and a requirement to use my brain…to think! . This poem is no different as it opens with verse written in German by the poet, Czechowski, who experienced the destruction of Dresden, or “Florence on the Elbe, as a young child of 10. He wrote many poems about his experience of the bombing and destruction of Dresden during WWII; most focusing on the idea that once things are broken they cannot be put back together again, among other melancholic themes. So back to stanza one, we are now seeing a bird’s eye view of Florence, from atop a hill, close to an observatory (capable of viewing an entire solar system) , right at the birthplace of Galileo. The lines /’At the first shadows…step by step-absorbed/ In thoughts-you descended/…places YOU the reader atop the hill, feeling melancholy, as the sun is setting (‘/lit up by the silky lights of the/Sunset.’/) , darkness is descending on a beautiful city, yet YOU are thinking about the destruction of Dresden as you view Florence fading into darkness. As you walk down into the city center in the second stanza, Frosini, returns to the words of the German Poet, “«Who is not melancholic / here he becomes such.», 'Self-portrait, Florence'. Here I imagine that German Poet looking out on the dazzling view of Florence, and instead seeing Dresden, or the Dresden that once was and could have been, but will NEVER be. This is very sad indeed. Personally, I have taken this walk (though not at sunset) , and it is not for the faint of heart. It is a walk! There is plentry of time to labor and think; and for the sun to set and darkness to descend. The final line of the stanza /’Your heart melt at the sight around’/ refers to the stunning beauty paired with the melancholic lens Frosini puts over the reader’s eyes. There is such potential in mankind, yet we seem to have this self-destructive and violent potential as well, that repeats over and over again in our history of war and destruction. The final stanza puzzles me. We revert from a quiet, thoughtful, melancholic, walk, to a revelatory one, When the speaker declares in the first line, ‘/Behold! Leave behind any anger and pain, /…Now it is as if, the speaker is having a conversation with both the reader as well as Czechowski…He is sharing this philosophic truth, that ‘/Because there is but one path to follow: / Our own -In loneliness. With the melancholy/That accompanies all of us to our final/Destination. And then darkness descends on everything. The sun has set. I suppose this means that despite all the destruction of Dresden, despite the beauty of Florence, the positives and negatives of mankind, we still all die alone. Maybe in acceptance of such a melancholic truth, one can find peace with our Earth and the state of mankind. I felt very close to this poem, I found myself on this walk, as I remembered my time in Florence and my own melancholic state of mind when I was there. This is a special poem. You have a way with incorporating layers of meaning through such a small space in your words, your parsed language and your light and dark imagery. Thanks for writing and for sharing such a beautiful poem. Grazie Mille Fabrizio!

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Fabrizio Frosini 17 January 2016

Cara Pam, una volta ancora, sei entrata nello spirito di una poesia che per me significa molto, cogliendone non solo i riferimenti ma anche quel sentimento e quelle sensazioni I felt that late afternoon, walking down from top of the hill of Arcetri.. L'aver visto quei luoghi con i tuoi occhi ti ha aiutata ad entrare nello spirito della poesia, ma è la tua capacità di analisi, mediata dall'intelligenza e sensibilità con cui hai 'vissuto' il senso dei miei versi, a renderti l'ottimo critico letterario che sei. Critico e Poeta in prima persona, hai reso giustizia a Czechowski e a me.. Thank you, my dear friend

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Fabrizio Frosini 17 January 2016

I don't think you need a translation.. do you? ;)

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Bharati Nayak 25 November 2015

Behold! Leave behind any anger or pain Because there is but one path to follow Our own, in loneliness- - - - - - - - - Beautiful the way you describe our inner loneliness.We walk that melancholy to our final destination, the Grave.

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Fabrizio Frosini 26 November 2015

thank you, dear Bharati for visiting and commenting on. Cheers

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Fabrizio Frosini 15 November 2015

Today I've read a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that I didn't know.. it is 'DANTE'. Here is the opening lines: ''Tuscan, that wanderest through the realms of gloom, With thoughtful pace, and sad, majestic eyes, '' - my ITALIAN translation of them: ''O Toscano, che vaghi per i regni della malinconia, (*) Con passo pensoso, e tristi e maestosi occhi, '' - - - (*) I've preferred translating 'malinconia' and not 'oscurità', because 'Divina Commedia' is not only 'INFERNO', but also 'PURGATORIO' and 'PARADISO'

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Souren Mondal 06 November 2015

'Behold! Leave behind any anger and pain, Because there is but one path to follow: Our own -In loneliness. With the melancholy That accompanies all of us to our final Destination.' A beautiful passage.. It is true that I had never been there but I could almost feel myself soaking in the beauty of the place and the walk.. What struck me most was that even amidst the melancholy and sadness there was a strange sense of calmness... It's really wonderful. Sometimes what we lack the most is this serenity. This profound calmness amidst the usual hurly-burly of life.. A soothing poem Fabrizio, filled with rich imagery and history of Florance...

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 November 2015

''even amidst the melancholy and sadness there was a strange sense of calmness'' [maybe] it's because of the acceptance of the deep meaning of 'life'.. Grazie, Souren

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