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Singing With Angels: Iacopone Da Todi's Prayerful Rhetoric

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Chapter Summary

Treatments of specific aspects of Iacopone da Todi poetic production limit themselves to evaluating its linguistic peculiarities, assertive tone, and spiritual discourse. An overview of Iacopone's prayerful rhetoric highlights the rich combination of poetic ability and doctrinal content, which originally contributes to the creation of successful poetic texts. Iacopone achieves aesthetically impeccable poetry, while preserving the theological message he wants to convey by resorting to a thematization of nudity, sexual encounters, and silence. He then expresses the ineffable union with divinity thanks to the implementation of a typically medieval concept of music. As defined by medieval philosophical constructs, Iacopone music constitutes the connecting element between poetry and spirituality. When intelligible words fail to account for the mystical experience, music and singing constitute the more ethereal means which allows the poet to communicate his experience of the ineffable.

Keywords: assertive tone; Iacopone da Todi's prayerful rhetoric; nudity; sexual union; spiritual discourse



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