16 February 2007

Giordano Bruno & poetry

It's almost impossible to get a good photo of the statue of Giordano Bruno that stands amidst the riotous flower stalls in the Campo di Fiori.

He's just too shadowed.

The same can be said about the man himself. His biographers say we don't understand him. It's hard to argue the basics, though. Bruno disagreed with the Church about whether the earth was at the center of the universe, with the sun and planets wheeling around us. They burned him for it in 1600. Many of his inquisitors no doubt knew he was right. That only made him more dangerous.

Here's part of Heather McHugh's poem, "What He Thought."

...Giordano Bruno, brought
to be burned in the public square
because of his offence against authority, which was to say
the Church. His crime was his belief
the universe does not revolve around
the human being: God is no
fixed point or central government
but rather is poured in waves, through
all things: all things

Sometimes it takes a poem to understand.

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