Wednesday, August 14, 2013

astrology church

Rome is filled with memories of times that preceded the series of pasts that have come to make the present.

A few days after my arrival in Rome I visited Santa Maria degli Angeli not far from Rome's main station.

It's a huge spacious building and I wandered in and was looking at walls and windows, looking for sheep and wolves (my current project). I came to a cordoned off area and looked down and there at my feet was this rather attractive sheep. I walked along a bit further: a cow at my feet (a previous poetic project); walked yet further and I saw twins. That was the moment the penny dropped. Across the floor of this enormous church is an astrological calculator.

I have a Literature Residency at the BR Whiting Library in Rome (funded by the Australia Council) and I'm exploring the stories, the symbols, the politics and histories around wolves and lambs.

Here's my response to the church I went into that day.

Santa Maria degli Angeli

the angels are all here
they are stars
they constellate
across the centre of this church
earth’s ecliptic
laid out like an Italian feast
here is the ewe Aries
here is Queenie the cow
here the devilish twins

the old ones are here too
come to see the layout
the spread
across the transept
la linea meridian
just as our ancestors did
here light falls
indicating the equinox
the ewe
the lamb tells us
with precision
when spring has come


  1. How wonderful Sue - immediately took me back o my experience of Rome and the church. I look forward to following your creative journey and living it somewhat vicariously. Lx

  2. Thanks Lariane. It's nice here. Today, 15 August, is a total public holiday withe everything closed, so very quiet. I'm amazed at the number of sheep heads I'm finding on buildings. Plenty in churches of course. I expected that. The wolves are less obvious and almost always outside, especially on fountains.

    1. Yes- August 15th - India's Independence Day .. Bet it's not very quiet there! Can't imagine Rome quiet - except on a very early morning walk along the Tiber. Of course, Siena and Lucca are good for wolves.... But Rome it is for your quest? I think you'll find some of both species at Villa D'Este - a great day trip anyway.
      Happy looking - ciao Lx

    2. Rome is still in the grip of August holidays and the business hours are really strange just now and lots not open until end of month. But heaps of tourists.

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  4. Congratulations.Looking forward to following your adventures via your blog.

  5. What a great start! Looking forward to hearing about your other discoveries.

    Pat. M

  6. Thanks Pat. Lots of museum trips filling my brain with ideas.