Il Mattino

Sometimes my photos lead to wonderful quests in search of the details in the images. Usually it begins with a search for the location but sometimes I have photographed a historical item and I want/need to know more. More rarely, like this image, there are words I need to understand and interpret.
This image proved challenging. What is written on the door? I found that Guiseppe Parini (1729-1799) was an Italian poet and the words are an excerpt from his long poem, Il Giorno (The Day) from 1763. Finding an English translation was difficult and Google translate had a few issues that made me laugh.
Here is an excerpt of the poem, followed by a Google translation and then mine. I don’t even speak Italian and I think I did a better job!

Come ingannar questi nojosi e lenti
giorni di vita, cui sì lungo tedio
e fastidio insoffribile

1. Google
How to fool these slacks and lenses
Days of life, which is so long bullshit
And uncomfortable annoyance

2. Me
How to deceive these humdrum and slow
days of life, which are so long, tedious
and insufferably bothersome

Here are the words from the door:

Sorge il Mattino in compagnia dell’Alba
Innanzi al Sol che di poi grande appare
Su l’estremo orizzonte a render lieti
Gli animali e le piante e i campi e l’onde.

Morning rises in the company of Dawn
First the Sun which then appears large
On the extreme horizon to please
The animals and the plants and the fields and the waves.

(Translation again mine. Italian speakers, please feel free to improve upon it in the comments section).

The delightful mystery at the end of this journey is who would write this poem on a door and why?


And now for another photo meme

This is from Cee and is entitled: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter E – Needs to have two E’s in the topic word. I head back to Italy and my month long residency in Bari down in the heel of the boot. While I tried to write consistently on the weekdays (until my computer crashed and had to be wiped which is another story), I took short trips on the weekends. My first such outing was to the city of Lecce–look two E’s. Lecce is known for Roman ruins, picturesque churches and a lovely maze of streets.

Here is a photo of one street in Lecce. Even the store Belle Arti boasts two E’s.

Street in Lecce

I am not always able to record where I took a particular photo. Sometimes I’m too tired, hurried or just don’t have anything to write on. This is where Google comes in handy. Just for fun I’m posting an image of the same locale I found on Google Street Maps after looking up the Belle Arti shop.  Pretty cool.  Plus of course, the Google image is so much more interactive.

Galleria Belle Arti--Google Images-001

If you look the other way you can see people waving at the Google car.

People waving at Google car (2)

And for something completely different–from a healthcare rally in Chicago. Healthcare and Medicare have two E’s, of course.

Medicare for All


Layered Netting

Layers of netting on a wharf in Bari, Italy.

The Daily Post Weekly Challenge is calling for layers, figurative or literal. Scrolling through my photos pulls back a few layers of unprocessed images.
When I think of layers I think of layers of meaning, layers in a French pastry, geologic layers compressed in rock, layers of stone in an ancient roof, layers of junk in my office (sigh). What comes to your mind?

Stone Roofing

These are the roofs of Trulli, old buildings made from mortarless stone found in Puglia, Italy. Many Trulli are found in the town of Alberobello which is a world heritage site. My landlord while I stayed in Bari told me that many local people use a Trullo as a vacation home (with modern conveniences added) and they are scattered throughout Puglia. Alberobello was a bit touristy for my taste. The countryside nearby was beautiful though.

Alberobello Roofs

Deep is a 4 letter word

Jet Skis on Lake Chelan

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge of the week is to find photos representing 4 letter words that start with D.  It only took me a few minutes to find door, desk and dock.  After a moment I realized that the docks are on Lake Chelan, Washington state which is noteworthy for being deep–and here I quote Wikipedia:  “With a maximum depth of 1,486 feet (453 m),[5] Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the United States, and the 28th deepest in the world. At its deepest, the lake bottom is 388 feet (118 m) below sea level.[8] ”  Chelan is in eastern Washington with one foot in desert hills full of vineyards and fruit orchards and the other at the base of the North Cascades near the northern end of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Moreau's Desk

There is a wonderful desk to be seen in the Musee Gustave Moreau in Paris. Paris has a collection of smaller museums housed in artist’s former homes or studios which have the advantage of being more intimate and less overwhelming and crowded than the large museums such as the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre. While there may not be the same concentration of great works, these small museums concentrate the work of one artist and are well worth a visit. The Moreau museum is delightful for its Symbolist paintings and for its cluttered walls and rooms. Late in my visit I realized that there were banks of smaller paintings and sketches on the walls and mid-room for browsing.

40 Rue Saint-Georges

Of course, being in Paris, I took a lot of pictures that day including a few of doors. I wish I could build a door like these into my house in Chicago.

House of Francois Mignet

Francois Mignet, a historian of the French Revolution, lived in this house. He is mentioned in the book, Memorable Paris Houses, printed in 1893, which is available for free at this link. I need to check out this book a bit more when I have time. I do so love the internet!

C is for….

I am posting from my phone so this will be a bit chaotic.    I am on the road, driving my son from Seattle to his new home in San Diego.  Road trip!!!  Here are a few highlights from the trip with detours.

Canada geese heading south.

Chehalis, Washington

Columbia River–as the song goes:

Roll on Columbia, roll on,

Your power is turning our darkness to dawn….

Apple logo on Chelan Falls, Washington

For Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge.









A Photo a Week Challenge: Literary Reference

Small Towns

Well, this photo challenge appeals to my inner geek. But which photos to select? Ah, yes, Iowa City which happens to be a Unesco City of Literature. I love how this small city has made a home for great writing and writers. Not Rome, Paris, New York but Iowa City. Good for them. Among the highlights are the metal plates inset into the road with wonderful quotes. I am embarrassed to admit I do not know these authors. The artist who created the plaques is Gregg LeFevre. Apparently there are 49, although I didn’t photograph all of them. The days when I was there were very bright and hot so the images are not the best.

Glancing up at the skies

A Cold Current Called History

Poetry all over

My river runs to thee

I was editing some old photos and found some images from Puglia, Italy which incorporated poems, translated into Italian and painted on crates on a wall. The site couldn’t have been more beautiful–an ancient abbey on the coast near Polignano a Mare. Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Leonard Cohen hanging out together.

Come un ucello

This recalled to me another poem, on another wall–this one in Paris–Arthur Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat (Le Bateau Ivre) “longs for Europe of ancient parapets.”

Je regrette L'Europe

It feels like poetry week, somehow. I am currently on the road again, visiting family in Seattle after seeing last week’s eclipse in Oregon and spending a few days in Chelan, Washington. While taking a walk in the neighborhood, I was gifted with a poem from a miniature house–like a Little Free Library, but for poetry. I almost expected a tiny vial saying “Drink me.” Thanks to a stranger for a bit of Wendell Berry.

Open Me


I finish with part of the Whitman poem, “Song of the Open Road.”

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Happy travels, by road or trail, through woods or city.