martedì 16 settembre 2014

"Mistress of the Animals" by Maristella Tagliaferro

Potnia Theron - Mistress of the Animals - antefix 1st century AD
National Archeological Museum of Altino - Venice - Italy

Maristella Tagliaferro reads "Mistress of the Animals"
Venice, 14 September 2014 - video by Stefano Soffiato

Πότνια Θηρῶν / Mistress of the Animals
Thou catchest two rampant lions by the manes
while watching over the entrance to mother-town Altino: 
save the lagoon from the fierce attacks
of those people who sneer at ancient wisdom.
Some want to disembowel her to let in
poison spitting new steel monsters,
some others spread poisons on soil, waters, air.

I wish to go back to the salt marshes,
to smell salicornia, santonico, parietaria,
to immerse my sight in the purple colour of limoniums.
To let the Moon girl, Selina, lead me
into the green-torquoise shallow waters,
among winding sea anemones,
spirographis protuding from the mud
with their tentacles as orange as the sun,
sea stars peeping out
in between red and brown algaes.

Πότνια Θηρῶν, I wish to commit to you
our tough symbol:
Sabión the crab.
And to find you again,
Mistress of the Animals,
in the beating of my fearless ancient heart,
where light, music, harmony master
the quiet flowing of the waters.

While fighting in the front line to avoid one more destruction in the lagoon - a damage that I feel would kill Venice - I wrote some verses getting inspiration from a little statue on display at the National Archeological Museum of Altino - Venice - Italy: Ἡ Πότνια Θηρῶν, The Mistress of the Animals (1st century AD), an antefix on a building at the south-west entrance on the Via Annia, the same direction I travel when I go to Altino.

The shallow waters of the lagoon, as seen through the pictures by Selina Zampedri, were good inspiration to me too.

I dedicate these verses to Massimo Bray and to all of us who spend their energies, love and passion for the triumph of civilization, culture, Beauty.

Venice, 14 September 2014

Parietaria - by Selina Zampedri
Limoniums - by Selina Zampedri
Salicornia Dreamin' - by Stefano Soffiato

Sea anemons - by Selina Zampedri
A sea star peeping out ... - by Selina Zampedri
Sea anemon - by Selina Zampedri 

Sepula - by Selina Zampedri
Sabión - by Selina Zampedri