Dante Day – Poetry News March 25th

Today in our poetry news round-up we look at the online event taking place in Italy to mark Dante Day.

Dante Day

March 25th marks Dante Day, or Dantedi, the day that Italy had put aside to remember the poet Dante Alighieri. This year marks the 700th anniversary of his death and would have been the first Dantedi. With the country in lockdown as it deals with the harsh realist of the coronavirus pandemic, all cultural events across Italy have been postponed or cancelled.

Italy will, however, not be beaten, and despite everything that is happening Dantedi will still be going ahead, although it will be a very different version to the one that was originally planned. For the people of Italy, books and all other forms of culture have become a very important tool to help keep spirits up during quarantine and the uncertainties that are taking place. With this in mind the countries culture ministry is hoping that the country will come together online in a celebration of the poet as a way of lifting people’s spirits. Today’s celebrations will all take place online. There will be performances and poetry reading and everything that takes place will be tagged with #Dantedì and #IoleggoDante on social media.

Dante was the 13th century poet from Tuscany who was known all over the world as the patriarch of the Italian language. His work is the foundation of the Italian culture and is studied as part of the school curriculum. Adults quote him and his poetry is a part of the daily conversation all over Italy.

Italians are invited to help celebrate the day by reading the verses by Dante that mean something to them and then sharing them. The event which was organised so long ago, and which has been overshadowed by the pandemic, is now being seen as a way in which the country can unite and hopefully bring a little joy to people in such a difficult time.

The main events are planned for 25th March at midday, the day which has been marked by scholars as the possible start date for the poet’s journey into the afterlife which takes place in Divine Comedy.

The culture minister acknowledges that this is a very difficult time for the first Dante Day to take place but with so much planning already in place, they are hoping that the move to online will be a relatively smooth one. He is appealing to any artists to read Dante and post their readings online today using the hashtags. To him, Dante is not just a poet but the language of Italy and for this reason, he believes it is more important than ever to remember the poet in an attempt to bring the people of Italy together.

There will be poetry performances streamed throughout the day and everyone is invited to get involved, not just Italians but people all over the world, using the official hashtags.

Will you be joining in with Dantedi? Don’t forget the hashtags #Dantedì and #IoleggoDante.

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