Va' Pensiero: Fly, My Thoughts, for Wings of Gold
Va¢ Pensiero, the book, tells of the escape from poverty, repression and servitude of millions of Jewish and Italian immigrants, and of the crucibles they overcame in their mystic and arduous adventures to the New World. The book is not intended to equate the suffering of the Italian people with that of the Hebrews, for the latter is in itself a tragedy too copious to be addressed in this short work. Nor does the author, a first generation Italian-American, intend to pit one ethnic group against the other in a race of accomplishments. Such a contest could not be fairly conducted without including men and women of greatness from all racial identities.
The title Va¢ Pensiero, is taken from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco. It is said to be the most exquisite of the composer’s choral works. In the story of enslaved Hebrews yearning for their homeland, the Italians identified with them. They too were enslaved at that time, during the 19th century period of Risorgimento when foreigners continued to dominate their land.