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Friday, March 4, 2016

Madison Square Garden (1)

[8: 29]

Così dicea l'estrano; e perch'il giorno
Spento era homai sì che vedeasi a pena,
Tante faci apparîr sospese intorno,
Che ne fu l'aria lucida e serena.
Splende il castel come in teatro adorno
Suol fra superbe pompe altera scena,
Con marmorei giganti e mostri eburni
Che mille alzano al ciel lumi notturni.

So spoke the unknown knight; and since
It was so late that they could scarcely see,
Many lamps appeared, hanging all around,
That made the air luminous and clear.
The castle shone like, in a nice theater,
A wonderful and superb scenery
With marble giants and ivory monsters
Lifting numberless nocturnal torches.


Notes
The impression of these lamps suddenly lit recalls electric energy (here produced by magic). Palaces with "sci-fi" features have a very long tradition in literature, just think of the Phaeacians in Odyssey, bk 7; while the reference to Baroque theater reflects Tasso's epoch and aesthetics.