“The Need for Poetry – A Manifesto” Lecture by author Piero Rivolta

The USF ITALIAN PROGRAM has the pleasure to invite you to the following lecture:

University of South Florida – Tampa Campus

Marshall Student Center

MSC 4103

Tampa FL 33620

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lecture at 6:00pm

Followed by Q&A with author Piero Rivolta moderated by Dr. Patrizia La Trecchia (Assistant Professor, USF Italian Program)

***** Do not miss the unique opportunity to attend a fascinating lecture and to meet the son of Renzo Rivolta, the founder of the car manufacturer Iso Rivolta, known for the iconic egg-shaped Isetta ‘bubble car’ designed in the fifties and recognized and loved worldwide!

The Need for Poetry – A Manifesto

by Piero Rivolta

We need to see and interpret the world in a more poetic way, and with simplicity. We need an infusion of poetry in life, in books, in movies, in the arts and even in government and business – to make everything simpler and more real.

We must restore the primary qualities that we all share as human beings —intuition, compassion, common sense, love, moral sentiment, admiration for nature, appreciation for beauty and a sense of fairness. Poetry, which shows things directly and clearly, can encourage all of these qualities and help bring about a renaissance in everyday life.

In the absence of such poetry, thinking and reasoning turn their backs on the unique qualities that make us human, causing us to live in a constant state of fear and confusion. With a strictly rational approach you can always prove a point, but at the same time, if you examine a problem only in the cold light of reason, you can always be contradicted or contradict yourself.

Stifle the impulses that we carry inside ourselves, because they are difficult to express and share with others, and we lose the joy of life and the passion for working or doing things, leaving us to struggle with stress and insecurity.

This situation occurs quite often in history and leads to dark periods in which human beings are divided by political parties or religious myths. In the process, they become slaves to systems that make their lives miserable with unbendable rules, and their only recourse is to lament the unfortunate state of affairs or exercise their right of free speech about it. But free speech without the possibility of a realistic approach to reality doesn’t get us anywhere. It only manages to dissect opinions about how to interpret freedom and rights in front of all sorts of committees—committees that generalize any event in order to put it in a particular category, and invent a new rule in order to increase their control and generate more wealth for those who sustain the parties or the religion. Any consideration for our reality, creativity, emotion, humor or common sense is left out.

The world is going through one of these dark periods now, and it unfortunately includes the United States, which we believed to be immune from such developments.

We need a new renaissance, and this is the country that has the ability to make it happen. But we must understand that a renaissance is always begun and carried out by poets, writers and artists who are capable of infusing their works with the true poetry of life and bringing light into our hearts. Theirs are the nurturing, realistic and creative thoughts that help people to listen to the fundamental values that are hidden inside ourselves.

So why don’t we get going?

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