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Wednesday 12 May 2021

Anvil and hammer

Author of the content

Another author of a particular kind of enigmas is Tommaso Stigliani from Matera (1573-1651); among other things, he is responsible for some compositions that are apparently unglued, but which in reality hide a completely ordinary "solution". It is the common imprint of so much enigmistic of those centuries, a system to entertain doubly the mischievous madonnas of the salons and courtyards: as well as with the driven daring of the verses, with the comparison, with a clarified solution, between the audacity of the proposition and the naivety of the concept.

Tommaso Stigliani
Tommaso Stigliani

This "octave" by Stigliani hides, for example, the anvil and the hammer:

Femina, and male one above the other stood,
this moveasi, and that was stopped.
The male, in her bosom, I believe, was making notes
a hard cotal with a reddened top.
And she moaned, yes, which showed well
to be strongly hammered by it.
In sum, the game was conducted like this,
that the head of that fellow was washed.

This other octave, not at all risque, has instead as a solution scissors:

At the same time I am one and two
and make two what was first one,
one overlaps me with his five
contra infiniti that people have in their heads.
All are mouth from the belt in his
and more toothless bite than tooth.
In front of and behind I have two warlike sites,
my eyes are in my feet and often in my eyes my fingers.

Cato Uticense, from Lucca, anagrammatic pseudonym of Leone Santucci (1636-1724), hides in this sonnet the saber:

Female I am, warrior Amazon,
and my name among the knights is clear
for pomp too, of the Queens at paro,
I have armed guards around me day and night.

This skin of the slain, horrid and black,
that I wrap in sen on the bellicose steel,
ornament is not for my shelter,
that naked I go when I fight alters.

Where do I pass ungodly with blood and death,
and when it seems that my virtue surrenders
and bend down fisting, I am stronger:

I cry to the mortal then (nor do I know if he learns
despite his threatened fate)
that from a thin thread life hangs.

Reverend Giovan Battista Taroni, a Bolognese scholar and priest, who lived between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, is the author of One hundred knots to untie.

The knots are a complete review of enigma subjects, all exposed in octaves, like this one it hides the wine:

Sometimes he comes out of the underground room
a deceptive monster, who makes war on man;
I show in various colors, various semblances,
gently flatters it and then grabs it,
and if, too boldly, the host advances
with assaults from his mouth he finally grabs it.
And this power of his, which he has from destiny,
it looks like an infernal gift and is divine.

Antonio Malatesti (Florence, 1610-1672), a lively and imaginative author, is certainly the most important enigmographer of these centuries.

Malatesti was greatly appreciated by Fanfani, who highly praised his Sphinx, where "poetry is rich in beautiful and graceful images" and "the veil of the enimma is always woven with perfect and most elegant mastery, nor is penetration always light", but also by the Florentine people of his time, if he had the honor of being buried in Santa Croce; the book is the explanation of his sonnet:

What I have said and repeat, redirect,
if once, four, and a hundred is not enough,
that although sometimes I know that I lie,
I do not want to cancel, if my neck went away.

Bound yes, that I cannot give a collapse,
I am on one side, and I still feel crushed;
and if I cut a martial instrument from me,
well see farollo at the margins.

A feral bare on me I bring,
and mute face every time I looked,
and I have my purpose before I am dead.

I keep the name of who created me,
and if he was not well aware in making me,
without going to hell I am damned.

Malatesti is also the author of the booklet La Tina, containing fifty mischievous "misunderstandings", fifty sonnets with an erotic theme and a rustic setting.

With regard to the above-mentioned Stigliani's enigma, the comparison with this modern riddle is significant (its author Mirella Bein Argentieri), which offers the same solution, but with very different "methods":


He reminds me of Carlo ... Yeh, he hits her,
he wants her submissive and moreover .. cuckold.
But she does not break down and, if you think about it,
putting your finger between them is not convenient for you.

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