Geri and Ferruccio

Geri and Ferruccio

Giuseppe Geri, or Geri di Gavinana (1889-1975), the poet “of small things” as he called himself, dedicated to Ferrucci at least three poems.

In 1929, in the collection “Fiori di bosco” – the only one he published in his lifetime – the poet paid tribute to the memory of the Florentine commander in two poems (mentioning him also in a third one, which is not included here, "To the bell-tower of Gavinana").
Your glory reigns now and forever
in the whole world that spoke of you,
proud Ferruccio: and with solemn joy Italy consecrated this bronze monument.
Muted in its heart it kept its pain for whole centuries: finally it woke up and wept over your martyrdom,
and agreed that for freedom it was consumed.
On these mountains, among these valleys and cliffs, the republican ideal was destroyed by treason, and a few solders returned downcast, along the mountain road,
and in its throes, like a prey of the wolves,
fell proud Ferruccio in Gavinana.

About the history of Ferruccio or Maramaldo
I know not much in depth;
what I do know is that Ferruccio, in this world,
was a great generous and brave warrior
He loved Florence and, in his veins, blood
pulsated lively and jocund:
I know he was handsome, blond-haired,
kind-hearted, and that he was not brash
And I know that Maramaldo, the traitor,
killed Ferruccio in Gavinana,
as he lay almost dying he stabbed his heart:
I know that the bell tolled
in slow chimes and full of pain,
and everyone cried on the mountain road.
A couple of years later, on the occasion of the solemn commemoration of the IV Centenary in 1930, the poet once again paid tribute to the hear, in the stanzas of a “Hymn to Ferruccio”. The music for the poem was composed by Maestro Oreste Bergami and played by the award-winning Filarmonica Dopolavorista “Giuseppe Verdi” of San Marcello.
The name of Ferruccio, strong and warriour,
sounds across mountains and plains;
From the borders, from distant seas
his feats are made known to everyone.

The name of Ferruccio is most famous
in the town where he was born,
where his mortal spoils lay,
where his name will ring eternally.

The sad bell no longer rings joyfully
Today it tolls in the ancient castle;
but it reminds us of the betrayed battalion
whose blood was spilt on this soil.

However, the death and value
of Ferruccio are commemorated by Italy,
His name became a war cry,
he always remained alive in everyone.

Bibliography and sources:

Geri di Gavinana (Giuseppe Geri), Fiori di bosco, Firenze, Vallecchi, 1919

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