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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The die is cast (5)

[7: 103, Nicaea speaks]

Ahi! perché forti a me Natura e 'l Cielo
Altrettanto non fêr le membra e 'l petto,
Onde potessi anch'io la gonna e 'l velo
Cangiar in gran corazza e 'n fino elemetto?
Ché sì non riterrebbe arsura o gelo
Né turbo o pioggia il mio infiammato affetto,
Ch'al sol non fossi et al notturno lampo,
O fra' compagni o sola, armata in campo.

"Ha! Why didn't Nature and Heaven (*)
Make my body and heart so strong too,
So as to let me replace skirt and veil
With a great armor and a fine helmet?
No heat and no chill, no swirl, no rain
Could then hold back my burning love
And prevent me from being in battle
By day or by night, in team or alone."

(*) The identity, or not, between God and Nature was -- already before Spinoza -- a crux in late Medieval and Renaissance philosophy. Some hints can be found in the Divine Comedy, but the phrase "Nature, that is, God" is even more clearly used by Dante's son Jacopo (James). Tasso positively subordinates Nature to God in his long poem Il Mondo Creato (see). . .  in some passages, at least.