Dustin Hoffman advertises the Marche

Later on this month a publicity campaign about the Marche will be launched. It will star Dustin Hoffman. He will be seen reading the poem “L’infinito” by Giacomo Leopardi with the landscape of the Marche as background.

Leopardi is among the greatest of Italian poets. He was born in the Marche in 1798 and died in 1837. L’infinito is his most famous poem and most people of a certain age can quote at least the first couple of lines – rather like Wordsworth’s daffodils for English people of a certain age.

The publicity campaign with Dustin Hoffmann will reputedly cost 2 million euros and has been critised not only in terms of cost but also in terms of Dustin Hoffman’s “mauling(?)” of the Italian language – it has even been criticised by Mina – a diva/icon singer in Italy. An impression of the advert can be seen on u-tube. click here.

In the meantime here is an English translation of the poem.

L’infinito (English Translation)

This solitary hill has always been dear to me
And this hedge, which prevents me from seeing most of
The endless horizon.
But when I sit and gaze, I imagine, in my thoughts
Endless spaces beyond the hedge,
An all encompassing silence and a deeply profound quiet,
To the point that my heart is almost overwhelmed.
And when I hear the wind rustling through the trees
I compare its voice to the infinite silence.
And eternity occurs to me, and all the ages past,
And the present time, and its sound.
Amidst this immensity my thought drowns:
And to flounder in this sea is sweet to me.

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