Galileo Galilei: Clothes are Evil

"It is with pity and anguish that I see
Students and seekers of the Greatest Good
Fail yet again to strike where it may be"

"I now conclude, and turn to you, signor,
And force you to confess, against your will,
The Greatest Good will be all clothes to abhor"

Those are just two brief paragraphs of a much longer text. There is no english translation freely available, but for those of my friends who didnt know it, Galileo Galilei was a strong advocate of nudism. In 1590, he wrote a little poem in iambic pentameters, known as Against the donning of the gown ("Contro il portar la toga"), in which he vehemently states how deep mankind has fallen by choosing to wear clothes.

His poem was meant as an argument against those who wearing rich heavy clothes defined themselves as good scientists. The genius who shaped his times and the centuries after his departure had discovered the effects of the "carnoval" , of the masquerade, induced by clothes. By hiding ourselves to the other people , by showing with clothes as something different from what we really are, we began to fall into a vortex of consequences which are today in front of us:

"Of any fraud, of any deception
the cause is obvious and is one only
It is being dressed all year round"

Im so sorry not to be able to translate the whole thing for you. An italian professor and scientist, Giovanni Bignami, an astronmer and a true connoisseur of the English language, many years ago translated the poem in the Shakespeare's English, but his translation isnt easy to find as it didnt have wide resonance. If any of you owns it, I think it would be a service to everybody on the net to make it available (the translator is not with us anymore, unfortunately).

I'll leave you with this paragraph (forgive the poor English):

"And so it happens that – if Someone,
being ingenious and smart,
sometimes goes around naked –
They say he's out of his mind;
the Youth will call: "look, look"
some offend, some bite Him hard
some throw stones and beat Him up,
Others want to tie Him up
like He was some kind of veal,
thats how you know how fool is people"

(English reference:

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