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POESIE / POEMS
Prefazione di Vanni Scheiwiller
Traduzioni di J. Galassi, C. Gugolz, 
A. Mandelbaum, M. Moore, 
W. De Rachewiltz, D. Vittorini
All'insegna del pesce d'oro di
Vanni Scheiwiller, 
Milano 1999

 

da
TERZO MODO
1969

PASSIVE SENSIBILITY

Your degree, mine
of translatism, 
organic disorganic, 
or pratical reason.
Pathicus, lascivious:
if the sensitive is so
why evade, have you
the dynamics to do it?
Every reduction to the
sensitive abolished: if yes
seek further. Quench
the thirst for shrink. shout 
your degree, mine
of translatism:
have no fear.


Translated by Walter de Rachewiltz


HARMONY

Order of the world as was 
the Pythagorean,
communication between monads.
Given a and b the subsequent
of a is equal to the subsequent of b
the two terms are the same. 
Harmony number cohesion
perfect watches
with odd numbers, unable
to understand
undistinguished distinctions. 
Object and cause do not
mingle in the unity of
the foundation, depth, 
not struggle, but harmony achieved.


Translated by Walter de Rachewiltz


NO TO INDIVIDUALISM

Selfishness in order not to pretend,
to admit besides my own
the existence of
others? Values
for their own sake or just
for those they involve?
Countinuous feeling
through disgregation, 
not for an 
individual I.


Translated by Walter de Rachewiltz


ART

Principle or metaphysical appearance
one attempted to take from the object
which too was divided in partitions
we want to find in techniques.
Perceptive technique: art
without distinction between highter or
less high, raving inspiration.
We do not want to fall in aesthetics
without catharsis, purged
of phony metaphysics, more real:
in immanence a credo, 
in self-distruction find ourselves.


Translated by Walter de Rachewiltz


FORM

Form has no imperfections
is neither participation nor part:
it comes true. The form you consider
knows us, opposes
disgregation: already expiated
before the end.


Translated by Marianne Moore


CONVERSATION

The hours conversing with yourself:
thought and action, do not
lose them
we have worn out the wall
beyond which we can
find ourselves again, 
more real, less realized.


Translated by Walter de Rachewiltz

THIRD WAY

The third way to
distinguish A consists 
of the connection between
A and oneself. A
identifies itself, there is
no alternative, hence
monotheism.


Translated by Marianne Moore

da
IMMOBILITÀ
1974

1.

I would withdraw
         my body
when
         all is complete
before we part.
I can withdraw
because
         I did not think
to come this far.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


2.

Play
         is the one way
the pointless
         stands to truth
         the way truth
can only stand to play.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

7.

Space yours mine
never begotten
to be born
insults the unborn.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

 

11.

No words
         books
         sentences.
Give me a thread
to grasp
         a thought
not to be thought
         a nought
in which to live
and an end that is not the nought.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum

16.

Your eyes are in the boughs that bend
and where boughs end
are your deep roots.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum

23.

The path that passed
         did not graze the water.
That path is not to be denied
         it can trace roads and lines
but it did not graze the water.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


24.

You've taken everything from me
even the void
even the fear.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


26.

Only the farthest
         tangents touch
our deepest uselessness.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum

32.

The way
may be a place
but no place is
the way.


Translated by Allen mandelbaum


33.

When anguish 
meets 
us in sleep
the latch of life
draws thigt
and tights
the arms
the thighs.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


34.

The useless
hounds me
the necessary
flees.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


35.

To play 
         with our own death
that others may
not inflict it on us.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


42.

Let words
         have weight
         and words
make thoughts hollow.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


44.

Those who are near 
and those far off
shout.
They sell knowledge.
But knowledge they would sell
cannot be cried out.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum

58.

The need to die
         to verify
         one's self
the fracture of each event
is its true significance.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum

60.

Of the wind
         that strikes
of the thought
         we wrought
of the white
         that unites
remembering remains.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


64.

It has no direction.
But it is direct.
It can strike.
It has already struck
you perhaps.


Translated by Allen Mandelbaum


71.

If torture exists.
If the righteous
kill, 
what value survival?


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


da 
SESAMON
1977


AFTERWARDS

There is an afterwards
         the day that follows, too:
         day after love
         day after death
         day after day
and tomorrows to discover
that have been discounted, different.

There is a tomorrow
         that an after has not, nor an ever
         if thou lovest not: and if thou lovest
         an always has and days.
And before that thou canst thy opinion state
there will be
                                    no law
                                    nor follower.

Not to fix an after pure love
being in the present
         with time suspended.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

 


INTER-ACTIONS


New inter-actions
                               gashes
tense conflicts          misconceptions
offerings for sacrifices
in different dimensions.

Each ending in its own secret
for the word unsaid
for the line unblocked
for actions and actions and actions left
                                             dangling.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

GRAVITATION

Gravitation present simple
within identities mysteriouus
lost
found again
cunningly dissolved
in contradictions vanished
in suspensions disguised
wishes          of a form closed
blocked way of sundry outlets.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


THE GORGON'S EYE

The other side of the present
         Saturn of the unarmed crystal 
         of the circling belt
         into wich
                  fears
                  passions
                  petrified seductions
         are drowned
         from hours worn
         from Medusa's gaze
is raised from remote spaces
renouncing sorceries.

Translated by demetrio Vittorini

SURFACING

Fate gives 
unexpected joy
brings gifts          that force
a return.
With          without          faith
in what has vanished
a thousand barks inlaid
pencils blunted
drawing in G minor
the pain
of not seeing the hill

again of azure flag          in the eyes
of the smiling soothsayer
some perplexing day.


Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


UNATTAINABLE CHIMAERA

This creation 
has no mantle
of tender greens
that may soothe pain,
caress desire
and then deviate
to the dreamy speeches,
that poets would mumble in their sleep,
alchemy, obsolescent thoughts, 
adoration of joy.
It only has ranges of eroded hills, 
actions-truth
unattainable chimaera.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

A CRASHING OF IDOLS

I heard 
a hail of ivory
shatter
at one shout.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

da 
IPOTESI D'AMORE 
1984


1. TO CHERUBINO

Maybe natural analogies
dance for joy
maybe once the boredom of deceit
has dimmed
                           they go:
hypoteses of love.

Maybe all it took
                  was a blade
to cut through thoughts
futilities, and give us 
in one fusing meeting
closeness
                  fire
                           desire.

The fortunes of war
are unsure.
But I shall win: for Venus
grants me realms
that Mars bestows on others.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


2. TO CHERUBINO

1.
Beloved lover loving you
I have tears in my eyes
and salt on my tongue
there's no distance between us
                           we are
heat fallen into life forgetting
and when I look
                  I see you're sun
color that changes and wants to be lost
in the furrow that forks out of yearning.

2.
After the last flowers are flung
we find this field
of sowings whithe.
There are times for tears and times 
when the song of days
transforms the frozen past.
And then run down the mossy paths
together in the shrouds of haze
capable of reaping the return
                  of a lost day.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

3. TO CHERUBINO

With a baby's mouth
                           Cherubino
you chained my links
with your divine pupil
at the windows of the lustral waters,
along the grassy paths 
already travelled in games
you lace up my desire.
Time intrigues
yearning quivers in silence, 
and I pull the thread 
that holds me bound
my Amintas
who fills the nights
with delicate glittering notes.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

4. TO CHERUBINO


It began as a game
then little by little
suddently the claim
of your eyes that turn me
                           pale.
The link between us is clear
the web was already taut
charms of winds were whispering.
Iask the winged one
not to end the game
I know the signs of the ancient flame:
it's sweet to set wisdom aside
in the right time and place.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

5. TO CHERUBINO

And when you
take the way again
hilt, shaft and reign
of flowering,
there's no arrogance
in your burning:
eagle that comes back to the rock
drop of a thousand spirals
you climb the paths of paling again
like a land of exile
that received you as a warrior
and rediscovers you a son.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

6. TO CHERUBINO

Luminous and alone
enchantment of a day
remedy for tedium,
to become together
is the sorcery
of a sun that rerises
shining in the morning.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


7. TO CHERUBINO

The objective
is the promise
land of meanings
in the hour of the forbidden.
While images
rush to portray
and reinforce
the rem acu tetigisti.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


8. TO CHERUBINO


The long night of forgetting
has left scars
the waking bitter hours.
This undefended thought
has the feel of fever
makes it see the world
as a threat.
Can you make joy flower again
with your boundless grace? 
Nods of giving, of wanting
subdued by the links
that are the sources of life:
mantles, lights, unions
wood of hovered abandons.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

9. TO CHERUBINO

Tell me do you too feel
time flowing on.
The day of enchantment seems
                                    long gone.
I take steps
toward subtle meeting-places
stretched lines of arcs
toward furtive waters
where, Arcadians, we go together.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

10. TO CHERUBINO

The entrancing cuckoo
                                    coos
while the hour
of sunset draws near.
And from far off
voice that arrives
at the mouth of imagining
you set down step after step
the short and the long time
of going. 
                  Dream,
living fragments
with glistening teeth
furtive deities
                    of restraint.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi
.


11. TO CHERUBINO

You too will age
and die of the sickness of ending.
There's time enough to sing
one recovered morning.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

12. TO CHERUBINO

You're here
and your hand arouses themes
dancing on divine slopes.
You tremble, and the walls
feel your fervor.
Threadbare, alyssum, vain
phoenix, ut vale,
you hold both now and never
on your back the horseman
rides and devours.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

13. TO MY GRANDFATHER FRANCESCO

The unknown moment,
to rediscover time together,
draws near
I count hours and parts of hours
live in your absent eyes
the arbitrary event of abandonment.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


14. TO MY FATHER TITTA

The fleeting game of days runs on, 
and I see you alone again.
Even the sun dies.
Of my loving you
a light in the dark remains,
god of my childhood
insanity of knowing.
Step after step
you wanted to advance
into the abyss of nothingness,
a solitary calling
for those who don't survive in memory.
Without you I lose distant lands,
wath lasts is the rustle
of a horsechestnut
a trace remains intact
a storm, an ipse solus, 
a thrush, a Margit, an Alice
and what Nietzsche says
and Treccani,
loved hands on the card table.
Place, tetragon, upsa
and slang and Greek and the phallus.
Titta, the end upraised you
has no aim.
You ended in me
osmosis of stock and mind
a crazy, sincere tribe, a true
inheritance of despair.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


19. TO M.B.

And we shall die 
consuming the final 
frenzy
in the effusion of living
in the idea of the beautiful
with our desires intact
and the time for them.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


23. TO J.G.

Withered shore.
Alone, I find that rising again 
that I abandoned out of fear.
While the omen trembles
and the nadir of the rediscovered
empyrean offers
dreams to pursue.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


24. TO J.L.

Luminous ideals
you are the face of sounds
the region
of living listening.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


25. TO C.M.

For you, nostalgia for the truth
we'll die          only a moment.
And come back without the torment
of knowing,
to create and uncreate
a little absolute.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


27. TO E.M.

Bright sea profile 
voice that brings amazement
and untangles ideas
stay in the world
that confuses
present and past
tears of time and sounds,
frozen crystal
where seeing oneself
is another day.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


28. TO M.M.

Endless way of knowing.
In a single moment 
the impossible becomes
and desire and detachment
are our fate.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi


29. TO P.P.P.

The vultures 
                  feed on us
the way the sun
can fall victim
                  to witchcraft.

Day you are illusion
night
cave of shadows
where gulls
and forgotten
incense
                  take flight.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

30. TO E.P.

To be, but 
not constantly
to tear from life
the nothing
that is 
endless change.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

34. TO G.U.

To rise into the empyrean
of nec soli impar.
Thus the navigator
         spoke to the winds
and the wind to poetry
with the goddess near
and the hearing of our rhymes
devoted to not ending.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

35. TO L.V.

The wound is already earth
blooming with lilac
the surroundings don't deny
the hour or the day
they savor their slow failing.
Dying is here today
yesterday was love
tomorrow notes of enchantment
will chase the tears away.

Translated by Jonathan Galassi

da
AEGRI SOMNIA
1989


I AM A POET

Away with splitting 
         precedent and subsequent
away with mere abstraction. 
Dismembering and reassembling oneself 
may already be fusion.

So I pre-live
         as nucleus of an absolute minute.
Embryio am I and seed
victim and witness mute.
Poet: yes, and need your help.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

ORE ROTUNDO

Innocent of blame
you come to me from this
                  anguished world.

You seek protection from the storms 
in the safe harbour
of an invalid's strength.

Days fly, and life, 
yet life will grant you
what I was denied.

I will leave you no armies, nor riches,
but friends who will love your speech, 
so loved by me.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


LIFE IS NOT SHORT

Life is not short 
if flight of knowledge
and memory of truth
are friends of ours.

In them we immerse 
only for moments
to arise without
the torment of parting
in an act that absolves
and living, and thinking, and

renouncing time,
in space alternate,
in segments of light,
restart our progress.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini

OMINA SUNT ALIQUID

There's something true in omens.
I felt you close this night,
almost an old bedfellow,
                  death, my friend.

Then quiet sleep came.
Before setting sail
may the gods grant me
to share with Cicero a maxim:
Nemo igitur vir magnus
sine aliquo afflatu divino
umquam fuit.

Translated by Demetrio Vittorini


da
QUATTRO CANTI
1994

FIRST SONG


Can the light filtering through 
make the lust for life bloom
after days of desperate thinking
in our daily solitude?

If a flower were a mind,
if a person a written leaf,
if the voice, could sail away
and talk of itself with what came before,
with what will come afterwards and with the absent ones!

Ungrateful solitude: you crush,
you freeze, you kill and you laugh.
You arid, arrogant egocentric.
While the joy shades away 
and the flowers fall, solitary like tombstones,
you, compound of deceit,
you're neither life, nor love;
you are not isolation,
nor the agony of illness,
not sweet thoughts:
you're the dull gasp of emptiness,
you're the memory of a rotting lake.

Translated by Christine Gugolz

SECOND SONG

The red dissipates,
the fear loosens,
the silence threatens no more.

It's the climb back from infernals depths 
with shaken bowels,
with weightless brain.

Then everything is repellent,
the gaps are filled:
it's the apex of the yes.

The ruby returns
to race habitual paths,
and doesn't spray poison about anymore,
it doesn't rush like a brook
from the tightened lips.
Having left the furrow for an instant,
it tried different ways:
the old ill ruby.

I have beaten you, my foe.
Return to the brazier.
Run to your furrow 
fire that knows not how to fail.

Translated by Christine Gugolz


da
IL TEMPO PREDATORE 
1997
EROS AND TIME

Lightfooted Cherub, echo 
of brief recollections, are you a messenger
from Paradises Lost? You are wary
or do not believe in time's true 
folly that merciless divides
generations and affinities,
and heedless parts and plots.
Events delayed are of no use.
Nor do they help a destiny that's dumb.
Man must drown
in an uncharted sea, forever dark
quencher of passion and desire.
Broken, man laments his fate,
which, cruelly silent, does not give consent
to other paths but what the gods
have traced, upsetting
times, loci and encounters,
so as to make the way harsh and deceitful:
that unexpecteded journey that
leads us to live a life
unwanted, bitter, but only 
venture of that single self
inertly lying within the mind
of the contriver of this
plot. Parents as lovers wasted
time in their embrace
to conceive this husk
now trembling, talking and, solitary, living.
Bold act of creation,
for the gods reserved, stolen by men,
are you the apple of discord
that lost us Eden? You who
wanted to perfect the id
that never should have come to body, you
doomed desire of possession, you embrace,
love, you who destroy the non-living.
Will the earth tremor or 
the nueron redress
the game of life, or will the wrong
that was in love created lead mankind
to despair everlasting, to agony,
to death? Oh cruel fortune.
I wanted to be a non-being 
and free from passion think.
Pure energy I wanted to be 
and hover above human misery,
but here I am, entrapped in this
carapace: alive, and sick, and tired.
Fate of a life unsought.
Who will help me to non-life,
to shade and light and to the Wing I fear not?
To support that bears 
any other object, and to the subject?
I wanted to be a floating atom,
but god-envious, foolish forebears
dragged me into flesh and bones,
by what dark forces moved?
By what plans? Listen my life,
my destiny, and you comely
messenger of time, you divine
enchanter: hours, moments
are for me but wings beating,
time and history are void
when immense the sky is spreading.
And when this life, this heart 
are hushed for good,
true time will beat,
time fast, eternal, of a nothingness
that must be full of ancient promises,
friendly perplexities, familiar
thirst and gentle games among the myrtles
and oleanders, and there floating
on air and wind, we shall dance
fading like llamplight
in the waxing dawn.

Translated by Christine Gugolz

ALL AND THE NIL

Thieving time sniggers. He knows 
how hopeless is our hope
in good fate and pointless
to hazard joy on cards of life,
for days of grief and parting fast approach.
Madness of cruel gods 
who abandoned us in care
of wanton fortune.
For death of friends, 
for wickedness and madness
of those who hound unhappy mankind
all sinews are broken in pain and grief.
Therefore I accuse the unjust living 
that ill-treats these and those.
I accuse the money hoarders,
because life is short and real
only when lived as a gift.
I'd like to expand myself and to embrace
in my fraternity all who understand
the sense of knowledge.
So, as a poet, and as a woman, I keep
twice over: birth, death and fate,
in alternating, modulated song
of hissing sounds and softly whispered notes.
Truly the promises of a happy Eden 
was only a guileful lie.
Where shall I see beloved grandad then,
with Colombina again, Titta and Montale
with Palazzeschi, Marianne and Armanda;
you comets shine on the spot for me
and I'll grow wings to fly there.
And where can love be found
that always blooms with reborn oleander?
Where the flaming fragrant lentisk?
Where the myrth that physics pain?
Oh reeking death, shrouding the earth,
hounding the living,
sneering at birth, jeering at fate.
Love also dims with time,
and fades, as hours do;
so heart grows old,
and in itself, feeling and daring.
Captain of battles lost,
great thinker of ne'er applied
philosophies; will the world understand
that no chance
exists of rescue?
The earth will dissolve
in foul winds, mankind
will perhaps die with it, but to its passing
these stones will bear witness.
Here, looking at the nuraghi,
eternal megalithic temples,
an ancient life pulses in me today,
with its stories, as always, of life and death.
I was given the gift of remembrance,
of leaving scripts that may disappear,
but that now speak of a loving life.
Heretics or saints have suffered,
thinkers, sinners and heroes,
and eternal creation continues to create
other beings, wantonly mixing
seurons and fates: the freak.
Veils open, seas close.
Time devours all, but
remembrance will survive, even
in a single life, be it of man or worm.
Oh sea of emerald hue,
witch mirrored Thetis and Neptune,
no one will forget your happy waters,
not the fish, not we, so joyfully lapped.
You are a gathering of lots of living
particles in a happy eternity,
we are only small pawns in this game,
but we too, one day, will
become part of thesee waters and of this all.
As worms, ammonias, energy,
we shall live in different ways.
Free from the insolence of evil,
we shall an endless chain
of worms engender that will
nourish plants and seeds and
last for ever as energy of the sun.
In a ring dances the bow of desire.
And the wind whirls around
to remind us of the sound of violins
and double basses, last accompaniment
of our final voyage towards
eternal nothing, witch notingness is not,
for wind also has a voice, 
and the sea another voice,
for loneliness for man
is punishment supreme.
We shall live in nothing, but together
In rings of shinig atoms
in the all and the nil which is life
denying the living
that only waits for death.

Translated by Christine Gugolz

  INDICE TRADUZIONI