Posts Tagged ‘poetry’


Trees have always fascinated me. They have an architecture all their own. I love looking at patterns on tree bark or the the way leaves are distributed on a twig. I know that these features follow certain rules, but still every tree has a distinct personality. They often remind me of a better kind of people. They grow and enjoy the rain and the sunshine and the wind rustling their leaves. They give other creatures a place to live. They may be cut down with an axe, but still their roots are stronger than concrete. When I see sidewalks that are broken open by their roots or houses that are suffocating in ivy, I can’t help but wonder what our cities would look like if nature were allowed to have her way for 50 years.

Until that happens, we will continue to make trees grow the way we see fit in urban spaces. This has a charm of its own. Trees that line an avenue always remind me of watchful sentinels. They actually seem to be conspiring in the picture at the top. This idea is not new at all. Personification of trees is a common topos in some of my favorite poetry. In “Davanti a San Guido” (“In Front of San Guido”) by nobel prize winner Giosuè Carducci, the cypresses lining the avenue leading to the narrator’s childhood home recognize him and try to seduce him into sitting down at their feet like he used to. They reminisce about his chlidhood when he used to throw pebbles at them.

Another one of my favorites is by Gabriele d’Annunzio. The poem “La Pioggia nel Pineto” (“Rain in the Pine Forest”) describes how he and his lover wander the woods in the rain and are slowly turning green and start smelling like plants. The plants around them turn into instruments played by the touches of the rain.

If this sounds like too much for the cynics among you, rest assured that anything sounds great in Italian. Kitsch doesn’t exist in Italian, things can just be naively beautiful.

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