The poem “Viaggiate” by Gio Evan focuses on the benefits of traveling and reflects on how travel changes a person's thoughts, attitudes, and opinions. To analyze this poem, look closely at its content, structure, and style.
The poem begins with an imperative in each of its five stanzas. “Travel,” the speaker commands. He then follows with a “because” statement, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. The first stanza’s “because” is negative. Without travel, you may end up racist, convinced that there is only one way to think or live or speak. One could consider this a faulty argument, because travel is not the only way to broaden one’s mind. Reading, conversation, and the exploration of ideas can be just as effective.
The second stanza also focuses on a negative. If you don't travel, your “thoughts won't be strengthened,” your dreams will be fragile, and you might “end up believing in tv-shows.” This, too, might be considered a faulty argument, because, again, there are many more ways to strengthen your thoughts than just through travel. One could therefore argue that the poet sets up a false dilemma: travel, or else you won’t be able to improve your thinking or open your mind.
The next stanzas are more positive, focusing on what travel teaches. That these stanzas are more successful in their arguments because they focus on how travel helps us connect with other people and with the broader world. The final stanza, though, returns partly to a negative and could be considered less convincing, for just because a person does not travel does not mean that the person will be limited.
Structurally, the English translation is in free verse, and it lacks many of the stylistic features of the original Italian, which uses repetition, some rhyme, and varying line lengths. The English translation does, however, present some of the original metaphors, including dreams with “fragile legs”; the “darkness” that people “carry inside”; and the “wonderful landscapes” that develop within a person's mind.