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Montecchio Emilia IT, January 24, 2017, dissemination of the "Roads of the Blue " in Italy. The Po and its literary traditions
Tuesday 24 January 2017
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JPEG Between the banks of the Po, rivers of words, myths and legends flow, sink and reappear from its whirlpools, and eternal melodies float on its banks.

This is what Guido Conti suggested to us in his lecture on "Po and its literary traditions" that he held on January 24 in Montecchio. The Sorgiva People’s University took the opportunity to restore the hospitality offered by SISAM’s partners in Ravenna in November. Guido Conti explained that "stories live by the words of men, but men do not have the stories they revive. Stories belong to places and places have the soul of stories passed down through generations. The story’s time flows like a river to its estuary, but its sources belong to the myth that lives outside of time.


Myths, then: Orpheus, the mad flight of Phaeton and the tears of amber, myths told by Virgil, himself born on the left bank of the Po; "The Eridan with golden horns, which like no other river throws itself violently into the purple sea, through fertile fields," river-father represented with bull’s horns, symbol of fertilizing power, and by Ovid in the Metamorphoses: "Phaeton, with the flames that devour his hair, rushes in a swirl and leaves a long trail in the clear sky … and the huge river Eridan welcomes him and wipes his smoking face," and by Pliny the Elder, who tells of its almost divine origin, and, well before, Hesiod, at the dawn of Greek civilization, says that "the Eridan flows deep near the high currents of amber."


The river which crosses the plain of Po has old and new stories to tell. If on the beaches of the Po sing sirens, it is not fortuitous that its shores have given birth to great musicians.
A Cremona "who has a guitar in his heart and a violin in his soul" and is the world capital of violin making (Amati, Guarnieri, Stradivarius), was born Monteverdi whose Orpheus is the first masterpiece of the story of melodrama.
In Busseto, on the other side of the river was born Giuseppe Verdi "the swan of Busseto" which reincarnates the myth celtic swan which, starting from the river Po, carries his music in all the theaters of the world and blackmail soul of his people.
Po has given writers, filmmakers and photographers its stories, characters, atmospheres and imagination that seeks a voice to manifest, but a voice that is neither peripheral nor marginal.
Guido Conti says: between the great river and the roads that cross between the "low" plains of the Po and the Apennines, I found myself at the source of many literary traditions and at the center of a system of interlacing and of cultures that founded the West.
And the old Eridan flows towards the sea where everything is confused in an indistinct horizon, where the water becomes sky and vice versa. The ancient peoples had already seen the course of the great river in the starry sky: at the feet of Orion "flows" the constellation Eridan. Yes, the earth is reflected in the heavens.

Naire Boniburini, Popular University La Sorgiva, Montecchio Emilia, Italy

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