September 1998


(Farewell to celibacy)


ex-Abbot Gadzo (or Gadso) da Vicenza b. 1478

Portrait of the abbot as a young man
Gadzo (or Gadso) da Vicenza
Artist unknown (scuola di Bronzino)

Upon leaving the Monasterio di Brescia at the age of 49, Gadzo (or Gadso) da Vicenza fathered 13 children, all, apparently, with different women. A towering character of his age, he published nine volumes of profane poetry as well as a philosphical treatise, a minor classic entitled 'Celibacy, Masturbation and the Church'. Gadzo (or Gadso) da Vicenza lived to the ripe age of 93, when he passed away, apparently in flagrante delicto with a 16 year old, a very happy but exhausted man.

This poem, Addio, comes from his first volume of verse entitled 'La vita è una cena' -- Life's a meal.

Addio al celibato.
That blessèd state of ignorance,
The pleasures of the flesh
Not missed because
Not known.

Addio al celibato.
Farewell to fumbling,
Groping in the dark.
Tumbles with a sheep
In lieu of female heat.

Addio al celibato.
Fire up the ovens, fire up desire
Pluck the breast,
Carve the flesh,
Eat and drink your fill.

Addio al celibato.
Life's a meal
Appetite's the thing.
Let the wine be poured.
Let the night begin.

Addio al celibato.

Translation Marc Millon 1998


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