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In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
In: The Orders of Nature and Grace
Author:

Abstract

In more recent scholarship, beside the image of Iacopone da Todi as a genuine, learned poet, who is aware of all the challenges of poetic discourse associated with the transmission of a spiritual message, another image has emerged—that of an intellectual of his day who pondered not only the matter and form he was creating, but also the place he could find in literary history. This notion of Iacopone Todi as involved in political, stylistic, and literary concerns helps to highlight the authorial dignity of the poet and to extend the definition of the intellectual through that of the author in the literary and modern sense of the word. The creative project of the Laude resides in an attempt to combine love of literature and love of God; literary innovation is part of his spiritual quest. The Laude demonstrate an intellectual journey based on the permanent oscillation between presence in the world and absence from it. The relation to the world which, somewhat ironically, lies somewhere between involvement and detachment. Within this opposition, the prophetic laude certainly are the “literary demonstration” of Iacopone’s involvement in the religious and civil society of his day. From a similar point of view, in terms of readership and reception, the laudario acquires important pedagogical and didactic relevance that need to be emphasized. According to Iacopone, an individual’s perfection is not merely achieved by the relation of the inner self to itself, but also by the ability to face worldly realities. This perfection is not the outcome of pure instinct, but rather of an enlightening intellectual process. Thus, the poet considers the Laude as the site of the development of a pedagogic action, or even of a pedagogic project, which is integral to genuine “spiritual guidance.”

In: Iacopone da Todi

Abstract

Although the most attentive Iacopone scholarship has made undoubted progress in the last few decades, Iacopone da Todi’s complex figure (Giacomo di Benedetto – Iacobus Benedicti o Benedictoli) is still being evaluated, according to a paradigm comprising an inextricable, sometimes rather confused, bond between biographical motifs and themes concerning his collection’s religious and socio-political statements. Iacopone’s handling of Saint Francis of Assisi, the only saint and the subject matter of two poems, together with an examination of his “Franciscan” thought will definitively clarify—in a long sequence of biblical, liturgical, historical, literary, and moral motifs—the mystical register of a transformative union between God and mankind, while also measuring the exemplarity of Christian life on the background of Christ’s advent. This is the fundamental trait of Iacopone’s poetry, his most important poetic and theological undertaking. This collection’s originality consists in its irreducible, unnegotiable quality, not in humanity’s ability to attain the unknowable God, but rather in God becoming “pellegrino penato”, “anguished pilgrim”, in an obsessive, refined, and reiterated request for love addressed to his beloved human beings. Being a brilliant expression of Franciscanism at its origins, Iacopone’s poetic production identifies the principal reason for a new mystical language, in which the lexicon of ineffability finds adequate and suitable words to repeat—by inversion—how human beings are “Love’s love”. This idea of Iacopone’s poems develops in an itinerary that is conducted in the innermost living movements of the soul, and that transpire in both his classical and his more innovative figurative representations. Iacopone’s highly developed spiritual lexicon transfers in the knowledgeable and keen use of a poetic art that reveals a valuable theological knowledge.

In: Iacopone da Todi