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“Ut haec ipsa qui non sentiat deorum vim habere is nihil omnino sensurus esse videatur."

If any man cannot feel the power of God when he looks upon the stars, then I doubt whether he is capable of any feeling at all.”

Constantinos P. Cavafis
Σαν σώματα ωραία νεκρών που δεν εγέρασαν
και τάκλεισαν, με δάκρυα, σε μαυσωλείο λαμπρό,
με ρόδα στο κεφάλι και στα πόδια γιασεμιά --
έτσ' η επιθυμίες μοιάζουν που επέρασαν
χωρίς να εκπληρωθούν· χωρίς ν' αξιωθεί καμιά
της ηδονής μια νύχτα, ή ένα πρωϊ της φεγγερό."

"Like beautiful bodies of the dead who had not grown old
and they shut them, with tears, in a brilliant mausoleum,
with roses at the head and jasmine at the feet --
this is what desires resemble that have passed
without fulfillment; without any of them having achieved
a night of sensual delight, or a morning of brightness.”
Constantinos P. Cavafis, Before Time Could Change Them: The Complete Poems

Dante Alighieri
“Noi leggeveamo un giorno per diletto
Di Lancialotto, come amor lo strinse;
Soli eravamo e senza alcun sospetto
Per più fiate gli occhi ci sospinse
Quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso;
Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse.
Quando leggemmo il disiato riso
Esser baciato da cotanto amante,
Questi, che mai da me non fia diviso,
La bocca mi baciò tutto tremante.
Galeotto fu il libro e chi lo scrisse:
Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante."

""We were reading one day, to pass the time,
of Lancelot, how love had seized him.
We were alone, and without any suspicion
And time and time again our eyes would meet
over that literature, and our faces paled,
and yet one point alone won us.
When we had read how the desired smile
was kissed by so true a lover,
This one, who never shall be parted from me,
kissed my mouth, all a-tremble.
Gallehault was the book and he who wrote it
That day we read no further.”
Dante Alighieri

Beppe Severgnini
“First of all, let's get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It's alluring, but complicated. It's the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis.”
Beppe Severgnini, La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

Titus Lucretius Carus
“A man leaves his great house because he's bored
With life at home, and suddenly returns,
Finding himself no happier abroad.
He rushes off to his villa driving like mad,
You'ld think he's going to a house on fire,
And yawns before he's put his foot inside,
Or falls asleep and seeks oblivion,
Or even rushes back to town again.
So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because
It clings to him the more closely against his will)
And hates himself because he is sick in mind
And does not know the cause of his disease.”
Titus Lucretius Carus

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