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In february, San Giovanni in Fiore celebrates the annual carnival with street performances of le ‘frassie’. Frassie are burlesque songs and recitals in dialect satirizing over local and national event. The masters of this particular kind of poetry were local writers Saverio Perri and Pasquale Spina.

Before achieving truly original results, for a long time poetry in the Calabrian dialect followed the two lines inherited from the Nineteenth Century: the vernacular, even comical, aimed at giving a voice to uncultured speakers, which never posed the question of joining semantic instruments and grammatical systems, and has always remained anchored to the mimetic use of language; and the argumentative, bent on building ideologically a sort of artificial alternative to reality, not infrequently alert to the possibilities of a critical conjugation with the protest.

Quantitatively prevalent have always appeared to be the mimetic stances, leaning heavily on the side of the popular, with less frequent stylistic and thematic tensions in the direction of an imitative recovery of the more widespread Italian tradition.


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