On display at the Spanish Steps in Rome is a wedding dress, one of the most beautiful and romantic that has ever been created, a jacquard silk dress with a handwritten love poem in 129 verses.
The poem is written by hand by Antonella Pagano, one of the most incisive Italian poets who donated one of her performances for all of us who went to look and wander around the exhibition.
I had already worn one of the stoles, “Embrace of poetry”, created by this poet but this wedding dress that Antonella called “Thinking of Love” is much more. It is a hymn to life and you would imagine to those who want to wear it for the wedding. The wedding dress is refined elegance, simple shapes that follow the contours of the female body.
The front panel, in satin, on which is handwritten poetry can be removed and used as a form of furnishing in the house or on an imaginative woman. In this way, the dress can be used for other situations. The original jacket “Thought”, in silk organza, completes the garment. Both the gown and the jacket have in plain view a precious gold label coined with the signature of Antonella.
Silk and words “marriage” appear in a poetic message that is a hymn to love and to the magic of the wedding day in which the couple crowns the dream and the promise of eternal happiness. The poem that Antonella has chosen for this dress best represents her spirit, her wonder at life and the enchantment and admiration for the magic in store. The text can be customized for a couple telling their love story and what is represented by that day, all of which will help increase the emotional impact.
I was also amazed by the elegance of calligraphy with which she wrote the words on the silk. Perfect writing in which the warmth of the text, handwritten, gives more depth to the words. She adds poetry to poetry. Love to love. It must not be a coincidence that Japanese culture elevates the art of calligraphy and gives it great space in their history.
During the exhibition, Antonella recited some of her poems and the performance included the story of two Lucanian women “robbers” in the period of the unification of Italy. A performance that left everyone breathless in its crescendo, in a whirlwind of emotions that arose from the history of women, but go directly to the heart of each of us, inviting us to reflect on our lives and on the meaning of our period on this planet.
There must be a link between the Lucania, Matera and the poem that goes beyond conventions and modern practice and rekindles the emotions of people by the words written and recited. Matera was named European Capital of Culture of 2019 perhaps because, in addition to the poetry of the stones of the old town there are even more profound poems, albeit less obvious.
The association “Matera Poetry 1995” celebrates 20 years of activity and the Antonella Pagano speech in the evening of celebration is a true hymn to her homeland from which she says she learned almost everything. Matera and Lucania inspire all her creativity and her concepts. It is a place that was founded by a succession of men, products and thoughts but maintains a distinct identity truly recognizable still in the stones and poems.
“My suggestion is provocative: we need a new generation of giants. There are too many pygmies on the shoulders of giants who have preceded us. Poetry is a powerful yeast. It is important that scholars, writers, poets and intellectuals make a generous gesture of humility toward it. We have to stop believing we can control our destiny and demanding arrogantly, presuming to know all of our lives up to, at times, even to the extreme gesture of, not having the need to live life. “
Antonella invites us to make the transition from virtual to real, from rationality to emotionality and stimulates us to not be afraid to face real life because it is the only way you can get to experience happiness.
“… At the base of life it can be hard, difficult, unsuccessful, worse than you think, but sooner or later it gives us a meeting with a flower that has petals on which you can read that fate was not sealed. We can then realize that often our unhappiness comes in looking for it in the wrong direction.”
The full speech by Antonella, from the twentieth anniversary of Matera poetry, was published entirely by several newspapers, among others “Sassilive” on the culture page. The Committee of the UNESCO Club of Matera has done the right thing and is spreading this genuine manifesto of poetry with Ministry for Education support, for its educational power.
I am more convinced each time we can not go wrong with the guidance and positive emotions that arise whenever you hear (or read) the poems of this little woman from heart overflowing with life. It must produce a very unusual emotion to wear a dress with words of love, even to the partner, and … will affect your life while you are living the day that, for many, is still the most beautiful.