porcellino

The Porcellino’s Melan-Comic Lament/Il Lamento malin-comico del Porcellino

Creativity

Eric Nicholson

porcellino

C’era una volta…
Once upon a time…
Great poets sang my forebears’ epic deeds:
When the nurse beheld the telltale scar,
Homer flashed back to Odysseus’ hunt
That made the world know he was a man.
It was the boar who wrote the fact
With fangs upon the hero’s thigh.
Another of my kind
Made Venus, Love and Beauty Herself,
Break down in sobs, crying to the heavens
The loss of perfect Adonis,
Who changed from dying youth into
A tender white and purple flower:
Thus Shakespeare, after Ovid, kept the story
Immortal.
And when the English author was yet living,
A sculptor here in Florence brought me into being:
Pietro Tacca, on commission from the Duke,
Cast me in bronze. Eventually
They set me up nel Mercato Nuovo,
Where for centuries I’ve sat, benevolent,
Ready to shine, never to bite nor gouge,
A good luck charm for those who pet my snout
And pose for photos near the busy vendors
Of leather and souvenirs.
Now,
Loneliness…
O so lonely
Amidst these empty rinascimento arches,
No longer feeling warm caresses on my head,
No longer hearing coins clank and jingle
Beneath my burnished bristly belly…
Such
Loneliness…
So lonely here
Nel centro storico/città fantasma,
Through all these lockdown days and nights,
Missing the students, thinking of my amici
Nelle Ville: Ulivi, Sassetti,
Natalia, Colletta, La Pietra…
Wishing for their return, when I will bring
Merry smiles for their present times,
And happy fortune for their times to come,
As their ever faithful
Porcellino.

Firenze, 12 May 2020

 

About the Author
Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson received his PhD in Renaissance Studies from Yale University (1991), and has performed in and directed numerous early modern plays, as well as published several articles in this same field. At NYU in Florence, he teaches courses on cultural history, early modern drama, and the performance of classic theatre.