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Showing posts from June, 2012

Alda, the Asylum and Tightrope Walking

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I was recently talking with a friend about contemporary Italian women poets. We both love Amelia Rosselli, but Patrizia Valduga and Alda Merini have a special place in my pantheon. I know my friend is probably shaking her head at this point, since she does not love Merini. But, it cannot be helped! I checked whether Poetry Magazine has a page doveted to her. And, I was glad to find her there even if her poems are spare and not among her most relevant. I wrote the magazine a polite note too since her bio is not updated. She passed away 3 years ago. Maybe it's time for an update.
Merini's life was characterized by hardship and great suffering. She got married very young and had 4 kids. Since--out of rage--she had raised a chair against her husband one day, she was sent to an asylum. Being perfectly sane, she wrote wherever and however she could and this prevented her from becoming mad. She had to undergo electroshock treatment too (as other famous writers: i.e. Sylvia Plath, Jan…

Writing A New Poetry Collection

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Yes. I will confess it. I am busy working on Jack's bio, but I have also started writing a new poetry collection. I had lunch with my fellow poet and friend Marco last Friday and we ended up talking about Pasolini. Then, after lunch and on my way home, I could not help stopping by one of my favorite spots here in Rome. And, I found myself treading in Pasolini's very footsteps. One of his poems kept resonating in my head. The place is so amazingly inspiring, that I ended up sitting on a bench on the lawn in the shade. I had my pad with me and, as I sat there, a 3 years old boy and a blackbird inspired a line. I wrote it down. It is a powerful line.