Showing posts from April, 2011

Poetry, Or My Daily Bread

I have been unable to write much poetry lately. It looks like my Muse is in quescient mode. But I keep reading poetry at least, being faithful to my motto that states: poetry is my daily bread. Reading Jack's translations, I could not help falling in love with Roque Dalton's work. The simple strength of the revolutionary Salvadoran poet does move me deeply. His "Like You" I have just learnt by heart.

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-
blue landscape of January days.
And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.
I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone. And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

Shit Matters...Excuse My French!

Life can be pretty unbearable at times. I am going through so much lately that I honestly feel a victim of the greed. Other people's greed naturally. I came to the conclusion that it would be much better not to own anything at all, except oneself and one's feelings. This is all I need, this is all that matters. The rest is just...shit! Ferruccio Brugnaro's poem "Buy, Always Consume" translated by Jack Hirschman is a perfect one for my mood today.
Buy, buy more than you can consume. Consume. Fuck over
any relationship.
Step on everything and always
buy everything up. Carry home
as much as you can.
Stuff, stuff yourself with greed.
Don’t look anybody in
the eyes.
Surround yourself with high walls
so neither grass nor human
voices can reach you;
sink, sink into the shit as deep
as you can go.
You must be on your guard;
buy away, carry it home
always consume.
Look around, make sure
they’re not robbing you;
any flower
any plant.
Buy, always buy
carry home
more …

Cardboard Lines

I am moving next Saturday. I have had very little time to write poetry, not to mention read lately. But today, being surrounded by almost a hundred boxes, I could not resist the temptation of writing a line on each of them. I plan to write a poem using all my cardboard lines when I will be at my new place. I am ready to bet that unpacking will be great fun this time!

The Flesh In The Inkpot

Tolstoy could not have described the process of writing in a better way. Personally, I believe that writing poetry is all a matter of flesh and blood. This is why Paul Engle's quote is a favorite: "poetry is ordinary language raised to the nth power.  Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words." Hand me a quill and the inkpot, please. I think it's time to pour some flesh in it!

The Poet Is A Thief

I wrote a poem last night and, despite it being so concise, it took me a lot of effort to complete it. Words most of the time just flow out naturally, but this time I could not find the right word I needed. It was at that point that I decided to stop writing and start reading. I was flipping through the pages of a book of poems by  Marina Tsvetayeva when I stumbled on the right word. I smiled thinking about T.S. Eliot's quote: "one of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." Maybe I am not really mature, but I will call myself a thief. I won't tell you which word I stole, but you can read the poem I stole it from! 

Every verse is a child of love,
A destitute bastard slip,
A firstling -- the winds above--
Left by the road asleep.
Heart has a gulf, and a bridge,
Heart has a bless, and a grief.
Who is his father? A liege?
Maybe a liege, or a thief.

You Will Hear Thunder

After having heard Jack Hirschman read his poetry so passionately and with such a thundering force, I am reminded that this is exactly what poetry should do. I was rereading Anna Akhmatova's poems last night which do express this very thought beautifully. So you will hear one of her poems now or, in her own words, you will hear thunder.  

You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.

That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
when, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you. 

48 Hours Of Pure Poetry

So I am back in Rome and I wish I could share with you the bewildering phantasmagory of these few, intense hours. Edoardo and I will cherish in our hearts this incredible experience, starting from the breathtaking reading up to the heartfelt generosity of four extraordinary poets--Jack Hirschman and his wife Agneta Falk, Paul Polansky and Alberto Masala--who have shared with us their daily life, their stories, their humor and their passion. Naturally, I owe a special thanks to Jack for having devoted me over four hours of his time and memories. Trust me, he is not just a spectacular poet but he is, above all, a wonderful man!

I truly left a speck of my heart in Bologna!

April is Not The Cruellest Month

Yes, April is not the cruellest month simply because it is Poetry Month. Celebrate it as best as you can. Be a poet. Write poetry. Read poetry. Buy books of poetry. Support poets and poetry as best as you can. Dare disturb the universe!