Travel and Poetry

by Bruna Scuderi
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Poetry has evolved over the centuries, moving from books to walls, from streets to the web and great quotes on travel and love have virtually made their journey all over the world.

Saint Augustine affirmed that “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” and this simile is particularly suitable if we think that worldwide streets can be actually read. Moreover, this phenomena has reached a much greater diffusion during the past few years because of approval in culture.

For example, the multi-awarded Italian movie “Tre metri sopra il cielo” which talks of the love story (as expected) between an up town girl and a thug who, struggling with his feelings, writes a huge love quote on a wall, has launched a trend. Accordingly, after the great success of the movie, similar sentences about the many facets of love have started appearing on the walls of many city streets in Italy.

Similarly, in the film ‘Amelie’, the protagonist copies poetry written by one of her friends, an “unsuccessful” writer, onto the wall:

"Sans toi, les émotions d'aujourd'hui ne seraient que la peau morte des émotions d'autrefois." (l'écrivain 'raté')

...which means...

"Without you, today's emotions would merely be the dead skin of former emotions."

Due to the great success of the movie, visitors have been wondering whether they could actually find these quotes on French street walls consequently fuelling an alternative kind of tourism.

On different streets we found any kind of love message from “Looking for a dad for my child immediately available” to “can’t you feel I am looking for you?!”. We also spotted celebration sentences such as “One year together. When you stop expecting it, love comes to you”, “Peace, Love & Travel” or the much more diffused “Make love, not war”.

These messages, which in some case even hold political meaning, are located around the world through pictures and on the internet and many websites report images of these love graffiti working as an enormous tamtam beyond physical distances. As Richard Bach questioned “can miles truly separate you from friends ... if you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?".

For those of you who truly believe in romance and cannot avoid reading love quotes or sentences on the walls while passing by, never give up the dream.

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