Crete senesi and Mario Luzi’s unanswered question

Crete senesi (literally “Senese clays”) are mysterious gray-blue waves that slightly ripple through the clay soil of the region South-East of Siena, dotted with isolated homesteads that sit at the end of cypress-flanked roads.

The best way to describe them is with the words of a great Florentine poet, Mario Luzi (1914-2005), published in the collection “Al fuoco della controversia”:

“La terra senza dolcezza d’alberi, la terra arida / che rompe sotto Siena il suo mareggiare morto / e incresta in lontananza / (inganno o verità / miraggio o evidenza – / insidia a lungo la mente / una tortura di dilemma) sperdute torri, sperdute rocche / è un luogo non posseduto dal senso, una plaga diversa / che lascia transitare i pensieri / però non li trattiene, non opera come ricordo, ma come ansia. // Inganno o verità, miraggio o evidenza – / Smarriti ne seguivano i lineamenti / con la testa rialzata sopra i quaderni / trasmettendosi oscura una domanda / e un indecifrato avvertimento i miei compagni di banco. // Inganno o verità, miraggio o evidenza – / sarebbe poi negli anni / tornata spesso la mente al suo non sciolto enigma. / E nel sangue la febbre, / nella febbre la fiamma / d’un’aspettazione incolmabile – ne sai niente?”
(“Earth devoid of the sweetness of trees, arid earth / that breaks its dead waves below Siena / and creates ridges in the distance / (trick or truth / mirage or evidence – / a tormenting dilemma / insinuates itself at length in the mind) lost towers, lost fortresses / a place the senses do not capture, a different region / that lets thoughts pass / without holding them back, not working like a memory / but like a longing. // Trick or truth, mirage or evidence – / they followed their profile, lost / with their heads just above their notebooks / transmitting each other an obscure question / and an undeciphered message, my classmates. // Trick or truth, mirage or evidence – / over the years / the mind would often return to its unsolved enigma. / And in blood fever, / in fever flame / of an immense expectation – do you know anything about it?”)

While we wait for an answer, all we can do is enjoy the scenery

Photos via:

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Crete senesi and Mario Luzi’s unanswered question



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