11/17/2011

Why Ever A Poetry Collection?

This year has been incredibly busy for me. I have started marketing my poems in a serious way, I have been translating poetry like crazy -- two collections, some poems by Jack that are being published as I write and I will soon  translate a dozen or more poems of the members of Rome's Revolutionary Poetry Brigade for the second RPB's international Anthology. Last but not least, I have been involved in poetry readings too. This said, one wonders why I should take the pain of putting together some of my works for a collection. Does the world really need a new poetry collection?  A friend  told me: "Nobody reads poetry anymore!".

Oh well, I guess I know he is right. Not a lot of people do. But, maybe a couple of friends would dare buy my poems -- assuming I got published. And yet, I know this is not the reason behind my writing. If I write my poems it is because I need to let it out. I need to use my words and convey my message. It is my hidden strength. 

"I'll let the vowels and the consonants be my only incendiary ammos." This is why I write. This is all that matters to me. 



11/02/2011

Recalling Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Force of the Past

Today is Pasolini's 36th death anniversary. He was brutally killed on the night of November 2, 1975 in still unclear circumstances and found the following morning by a blue collar on his way to work. Pasolini is possibly Italy's most important poet after Dante. An amazing intellectual who truly loved the lowest classes, which he celebrated in his deeply profound novels and poems. As Jack Hirschman points out, his three initials stand for "Passion, Provocation and Prophecy." This is so true. 


I wish to celebrate Pasolini posting Orson Welles' reading one of his poems of which I am also including a translation. "I am a Force of the Past" roars Pasolini. No, he is much more than that. He is still today a Force of the Present and of the Future too. 


I am a Force of the Past.
My love lies only in tradition.
I come from the ruins, the churches,
the altarpieces, the villages
abandoned in the Appenines or foothills
of the Alps where my brothers once lived.
I wander like a madman down the Tuscolana,
down the Appia like a dog without master.
Or I see the twilights, the mornings
over Rome, the Ciociaria, the world,
as the first acts of Posthistory
to which I bear witness, for the privilege
of recording them from the outer edge

of some buried age. Monstrous is the man
born of a dead woman's womb.
And I, a fetus now grown, roam about
more modern than any modern man,
in search of brothers no longer alive.


Translation by Stephen Sartarelli 









11/01/2011

In the Realm of Darkness

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the arrival of November. I am feasting darkness reading poetry and sipping a glass of red wine. Poets' and writers' darkscapes are a great place to be. Which reminds me that John Claude's short story collection "The Dark is Light Enough for Me" is coming out soon. A perfect companion for the approaching hiemal time.