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This poem is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

Giacomo Leopardi in Naples Marius Kociejowski

Do you know that something very strange is happening to me? … When I think of my impending destruction, I seem to see myself lying in a ditch, with a crowd of ribald fools dancing on my belly.
        - Leopardi to Paolina Ranieri, 1837

Shall we, my sweet tooth, consume another ice?
I signal Vito il padrone whose grave nod bespeaks the
Of any man who knows what his art is,
And the making of ices is surely one.
I must beware my friend Ranieri who would deny me this
   sad pleasure
Although my clock almost strikes twelve.
Antonio Ranieri, who, if I could believe in God, would
   drive Him from my table
And then sermonize on the evils of chocolate -
This man whom I love plugs my brain with his cackle:
'The mood on the Largo della Caritá spells plague,
And still, my Giacomo, you cannot bear to leave Naples.

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