MATERNITA’: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

scroll down for English

Dunque, come scrivevo, questo infinito sgomento – non
della morte, affatto- le grandi ali dei suoni.
Giovanni, si era arrampicato
su una roccia strappando un ramoscello pieno di belle bacche.
Le ha date alla Gemma. Oh! – disse- Io stavo a guardare tutto.
Ancora una volta mi metto a immaginare quel fatto
ma di quanti anni prima? dopo quanti anni?…

MATERNITA’

prima

Io le sentivo allora dalla spaccatura, intanto di soppiatto
…..fissavo
le loro garze inzuppate e gli stracci
buttati nel catino, su cui sfolgorava lucentissima la luce
…..del sole
dal vetro della finestrella; – e mi sentivo così solo e sopraffatto
come se in quel momento mi fosse stato dato a sorte
il miracolo stupefacente della vita. Avevo anche
…..timore
che la balia uscisse all’improvviso e mi trovasse dietro
…..la spaccatura
a sbirciare quell’evento a me proibito – soprattutto
scoprisse che avevo sentito le loro parole, scoprisse
la mia bravata maldestra.

segùnda

Dopo l’ultimo parto era smagrita;
le palpebre sempre inarcate; i seni
avevano perso la forma – lei lo vedeva e lo nascondeva
…..e era smarrita, silenziosa,
quasi per conto suo.
…..A volte, invece, si sedeva
immutabile, per attimi e attimi,
nella stessa posa, e assorta,
nel piccolo sgabello di betulla; si passava le mani
con un pezzo di sapone sbeccato – io lo intuivo
dall’odore entrando in stanza sua –
e mi piaceva, perché il sapone era sempre destinato
al giorno della festa e della domenica; – e ancora, adoperava
varie erbe officinali, raccolte di fretta la sera al scendere del sole,
erbe che rinfrescavano la pelle e davano alla faccia un carnato
lucido e pallido. Un giorno
mi guardò che la guardavo nello specchietto
forse aveva sentito la mia presenza alle spalle,
e sobbalzò tutta: fece una mossa
come se fosse scesa di colpo da un salto.
“ Così, hai notato anche tu che sono sciupata?”

e all’istante ridivenne lieta, consolata, bella
come un tempo, prima del suo mutamento
e prima dei grandi mutamenti incontrollabili del tempo.

“Una camminata fatto in quei
giorni che il freddo accorcia la pioggia… io
e lei, la Gemma, mia madre, di 95 anni”.

tèersa

Portami a camminare con te
appena lì avanti, fino al muro della contrada,
fin dove la valle si apre e appare
il campanile peraria e di sasso, calcinato dallo sprazzo
…..di luna,
così peraria e immateriale
così distaccato, quasi etereo
che puoi anche credere che non esiste
il vuoto con le sue lontananze.

Portami a camminare con te.

Ci abbandoneremo un momento sul sasso,
sul dosso,
e inumidendoci fra serti di brina
forse crederemo persino di volare,
perché a volte, come adesso, sento lo stropiccìo
…..dei miei panni
che sembra il fremito di due ali grandi,
e quando ti accosti a questo battito del volo
senti alleggerirsi le braccia, il corpo, la tua figura,
e così avvolto nella cornice di una brina azzurra,
negli tratti liberi dell’anima
non ha importanza che tu salpa o ritorni,
né importa che i nostri capelli siano imbiancati,
(è questo che mi dà tenerezza – e mi dà tenerezza
che s’imbianca anche lo sterrato).

Portami a camminare con te.

peraria: cavato su dal dialetto vecchio

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, il suo ultimo libro, “Quattro mesi e venti giorni” è uscito per LietoColle.

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

 

So, as I wrote, this infinite dismay – not
of death, at all – the broad wings of sounds.
Giovanni, had climbed
up on a rock tearing off a small twig full of beautiful berries.
He gave them to Gemma. Oh! –she said– I was watching everything.
Once again I re-immagine that moment
but how many years before? after how many years?…

MATERNITY

first

I could hear her then through the fissure, meanwhile furtively
…..I stared at
their sopping gauze and the rags
thrown into the basin, on which the polished sunlight
…..blazed
from the window’s glass; – and I felt so alone and overwhelmed
as if in that moment I had been given at random
the stupefying miracle of life. I was also
…..afraid
that the nurse would come out suddenly and find me behind
…..the fissure
peering in at that event forbidden to me – especially
discover that I had heard their words, discover
my clumsy escapade.

second

After the last birth she was gaunt;
eyelids always sagging; her breasts
had lost their shape – she saw it and hid it
…..she was lost, silent,
almost of her own accord.
…..Sometimes, instead, she would sit
unchangeable, for moments and moments,
in the same position, and lost in thought,
on the small birch stool; she passed a chipped
bar of soap over her hands – I intuited that
from the smell upon entering her room –
and it pleased me, because soap was always used
on holidays and Sundays; – and still, she employed
various medicinal herbs, quickly gathered in the evening when the sun went down,
herbs that refreshed the skin and gave the face a pale and glowing
flesh. One day
she saw that I saw her looking in the mirror
perhaps she felt my presence at her shoulder,
and she started: with a movement
as if suddenly landing hard from a jump.
“So, have you also noticed that I’m falling apart?”

and instantly she became happy again, consoled, beautiful
as she once was, before her change
and before the great, uncontrollable changes of time.

“A walk taken in those
days when the cold cut short the rain… She
and I, Gemma, my mother, 95 years old”.

third

Take me walking with you
just there ahead, up to the wall of the contrada,
up to where the valley opens up and it appears
the unearthly bell tower of stone, whitewashed by the flash
…..of moonlight,
so unearthly and immaterial
so detached, almost ethereal
that you can even believe it doesn’t exist
the void with its remoteness.

Take me walking with you.

We let ourselves go for a moment on the rock,
…..on our backs,
and dampened among garlands of hoarfrost
perhaps we believe we can even fly
because sometimes, like right now, I hear the rustling
…..of my clothes
that seems like the flapping of two broad wings,
and when this beat of flight accosts you
you feel your arms, your body, your features, lighten
and so wrapped up in the frame of azure hoarfrost,
in the liberated lines of the soul
it doesn’t matter if you’re taking off or returning,
nor does it matter that our hair has turned white,
(it’s this that moves me – and it moves me
to see that the path has also turned white).

Take me walking with you.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

IPM 2015: Where do we go from here?

Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It's called the "new" bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.
Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It’s called the “new” bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.

 

“Poetry gives us the opportunity to offer our observations to present and future readers, be they from the perspective of one standing on the bridge watching events or of one standing below and taking on the current. I’m looking forward to a month of editing and I know that my IPM readers are standing on the bridge waiting for the flow of poems to begin…”

So began International Poetry Month 2015 and the flow of poems was fascinating for me to edit and I hope that both Readers and Poets enjoyed getting their feet wet. I offer my most sincere thanks to the participating poets and to the more than 1000 readers who came from the United States, England, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Luxembourg, Singapore, the UAE, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Switzerland, Israel, Ghana, the Philippines, Belgium, Peru, Romania, Serbia and Portugal to read their work.

Today is the fourth of March and Spring seems only a few days away here in Northern Italy while I know those in other places are still slogging through the snow. Regardless of the temperature, here the snows have begun to melt and these poems will begin to erode away, disappearing a few at a time and leaving only the voices behind. Some you will still be able to find on the web, or in a book. Some will be gone for good. Where do we go from here? Why across the bridge and in search of new images, new experiences and new poetry. Following is an alphabetical list of the participating poets; each name is also a link to the poet’s work posted at IPM where you will find additional links to individual blogs or published works:

“Mia piccola nonna, Maria”: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

La notte si ingrandiva spessa di neve alla Biurca de Gàvet, tutta luminosa di spilli di ghiaccio e di luna. Dal ponte arrivava una donna giovane vestita di pannolenci.

………………………………………………………………………………………

“Mia piccola nonna, Maria”

Quando ti ha chiuso gli occhi intorno
c’era solo suléugul
e il fumo di una piccola lucerna

pulizia e dignità come nel candore
dei muri di calcina e nel lenzuolo
di canapa e quanto c’è di unico

e di compiuto nell’essere.
…………………………….

Al funerale una foglia avvizzita si librò sul fiume e scomparve. Ogni cosa era avvolta dal freddo. Solo delle pecore erano sperse sulla stretta, flemme, andavano aldilà. Di ritorno, c’era odor di polenta, patate e biancheria lavata. Mangiammo con fame quel che il nonno ci metteva davanti.

suléugul, un mesto senso di abbandono (dial.).

.

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

The night expanded thick with snow at Biurca de Gàvet, all bright pins of ice and moon. A young woman dressed in thin felt came from the bridge.
……………………………………………………………………………

“My little grandmother, Maria”

When you’d closed your eyes around
there was only forlornness
and the smoke of a small oil lamp

cleanliness and dignity as in the white
of the lime-washed walls and in the hempen
sheets and how much there is of the inimitable

and of completeness in being.
……………………………

At the funeral a withered leaf drifted on the river’s surface and disappeared. Everything was enveloped by the cold. Only the sheep were scattered along the narrow way, phlegmatically, they moved along. Returning, there was the smell of polenta, potatoes and freshly-washed laundry. We ate with hunger what Grandfather set before us.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

senza titolo: by Giacomo Gusmeroli

Mai e poi mai dimenticalo – ribadì- quel bene affidato, quel
sentir giusto. Ricordali quei nomi scalpellati
sulle nostre soglie di pietra – le date di nascita e le
……..impronte,
e insieme i canti, quel libro, quell’eco, la conca, le lune;

iöiumé!, e di pre-sera quando il nonno, guadagnato il pane,
tira via dai piedi i calzerotti, mette a posto gli arnesi
………a piano a piano
nel sua rastrelliera; poi, alla fontana, si lava
i piedi, il collo, le mani temprate e i capelli ricciuti.

E, benevolo e straniato, beve a sazietà , portandosi
alla bocca la ciotola di legno – opera delle sue
………opere
povere, fragili, e utili; – beve a testa alta,
più distinto degli altri, il nonno statuario,
il nonno vacillante.

.

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

Never and then never to be forgotten – resounded – that entrusted good, that
feeling of rightness. Remember them, those names chiseled
on our stone thresholds – the dates of birth and the
imprints,…….
and together the songs, that book, that echo, the basin, the moons;

iöiumé!, and in early evening grandfather, having earned his daily bread,
pulls heavy socks from his feet, puts his tools in their place
row by row…….
in the rack; then, at the pump, he washes
his feet, his neck, his tempered hands and curly hair.

And, benevolent and apart, drinks his fill, carrying
to his mouth the wooden bowl – work of his
working…….
poor, fragile, and useful; – head high he drinks,
more distinct than the others, the statuary grandfather,
the vacillating grandfather.

.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

La grande scelta: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

                     per te Daniela

La grande scelta

 

Capii che era lei quando era là al castagno; capii non per

le All Star alte, l’orecchino, – no; cose

……..diverse:

l’inciampo sul ciottolo, la lena, la falcata del passo.

……..Trattenuto,

il corpo accucciato alla roccia, cercavo un nascondiglio,

una sporgenza, ancora del tempo, prima di farmi vedere,

prima di chiamarla. Per me, lei, aveva atteso quel tempo,

quel tempo di travaglio e di incertezza, per me contemplativo

senza più averi e dalle scelte confuse. Mi appoggiai zitto a

……..piè del muro,

scrutai intento lo scorcio di torrente, come

……..scrutassi

la mia stessa vita. E “ciao” udii,

sentendo caldo, vicino il suo respiro. Sul cucuzzolo, il

……..monastero,

dava l’ombra di campane sulla cinta; e in un attimo,

l’attimo di uno sfioro, là diventò lontano e riannodato al passato.

.

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

for you Daniela.………………………….……………………………….

The choice

I knew it was her when she was there at the chestnut tree; I knew
not by the All-Stars, the earring, – no; by other

things:……..
the stumbling over a stone, the vigorous, coltish stride.
Reined in,……..
body curved against the rock, searching for a hiding place,
a recess, a bit more time, before showing myself,
before calling to her. For me, she, had waited that time,
that time of anguish and uncertainty, for me contemplative
without possessions and confused by choices. I leant silent
at the wall’s base,……..
scrutinizing intently the glimpse of the torrent, as if
I were scrutinizing……..
my own life. And I heard “hey”
feeling warm and close, her breath. At the summit
the monastery,……..
cast the belltower’s shadow on the barrier; and in an instant,
the instant of glancing touch, there I became far, tied again to the past.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

Cosa può un attimo: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

Cosa può un attimo

(a Gervasio, Daniele, Dario, Giacomo, Giuliano)

Quel giorno e in quel giorno
soltanto avrei voluto volare. Da bambino.
Nel vuoto di uno strapiombo sotto

le fontane al Vàak dél Valgél*.
Durò un baleno. La seduzione della libertà
con un piccolo slancio del corpo,

l’invito nel vortice della voragine
ampia e sconcertante, e quel senso
angosciato di cosa può un attimo. E poi

come rientrato immaginai la vita
dentro un vento che trascina
via per spazi nuovi, e nel suo meglio

la terra depose sui miei nudi piedi

una goccia di ruscello

a tramontana.

Vàak: luogo esposto a tramontana
Valgél: ruscello che si forma in un leggero avvallamento
durante le piogge abbondanti

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

What could in an instant

(to Gervasio, Daniele, Dario, Giacomo, Giuliano)………………………………..

That day and in that day
only, I wanted to fly. As a child.
Into the blank void of a descent [below]

below the fountains at Vàak dél Valgél*.
It lasted a heartbeat. the seduction of freedom
with the slightest surge of the body,

the invitation into the wide, bewildering
vortex of the ravine, and that agonized
sense of what could in an instant. Then

reentering, imagining life
within the wind pulling away
into new spaces, and at it’s best

the earth laid upon my bare feet

a drop from the stream

of the north wind.

Vàak: an area exposed to the north wind
Valgél: a  creek that forms in a  slight depression
during heavy rains

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

Ultimo cliente di Giacomo Gusmeroli


L’armonia nascosta è superiore alla manifesta

(Eraclito)

Ultimo cliente

I

Chiese di passargli il 41 delle Clark dallo scaffale.
Edith le fece ripetere il numero. Salii io sulla scala, sfilai
……………………………………………………………………………..[la scatola
e diedi il polacchino blu al cliente.
Erano le 19e30 sul mio orologio e dissi a Edith cosa provava.
……………………………………………………………………………..[Ella
accennò un sorriso e rifletté che era ora di chiudere. Dopo
…………………………………………………………………………     [aver tolto
la chiave dalla toppa gliela consegnai.
Mi abbracciò e disse:
“Non porti niente…”
“Non mi serve nulla”
risposi.
“ In questo viaggio non voglio servire a due padroni”.

II

dapprima mi si levò
davanti…

…un acro di terra abbandonato sotto
la rupe. Compivo trent’anni.

Ero come un giglio del campo
quando l’ho visto infestato

di arastre spinescenti e mi piaceva
lo squarcio al confine

con il carruggio
per il Par Impusibèl,

di ciliegi e rosmarino selvatico.
E lì, me ne stavo con braghe

da spaventapasseri, e ogni tanto
negli attimi spogli guardavo

il gran cielo notturno
come da ragazzo

la prima notte d’alpeggi
accosciato sulla specola.

III

Poi nei mesi della Verna restavo
nella mia preghiera austera e sola

volevo molto e chissà volevo
fossero veri davanti

a Lui i miei sogni. Ma niente
era già terminato

dinamico era ogni divenire
e nella lotta maturai. Solo

andare, dovevo, e nessuna
certezza era più lontana

e imparare dai fatti,
come bambino cominciare ancora,

e se fu doloroso per quell’allora;
ora è il presente ed è il quotidiano,

è il tempo,
il senso…

IV

– E chi te lo ha fatto fare, a te, di mollare tutto?
Parecchi mi interrogavano così:
– E – aggiungono, poi all’istante
– è troppo complesso, per dire, –
risparmiandomi la risposta:

con gli amici, invece
dissotterro il dubbio, (che è dar braccio
al passo difficile) della verità.
Mentre al Gianmario, dopo mesi, vicino alla tomba
di Carlo Carretto, ho detto che cerco

la mia religiosità:
– E la mia arte.

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO
An Engliah translation of this poem, from Giacomo Gusmeroli’s most recent book  LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO can be found below:

“The harmony hidden is superior to that manifest”
(Heraclitus)

Last customer

I

She asked that I pass her the Clark’s in a 9-1/2 from the shelf
Edith asked her to repeat the size. I went up the ladder, slid out
[the box

and gave the blue ankle boots to the client.
It was 7:30 pm by my watch and I asked Edith what she thought.
[And she
with a slight smile agreed that it was time to close. After
[having taken
the key from the lock, I gave it to her.
She hugged me and said:
“You won’t take anything…”
“I won’t need anything”
I replied.
“On this voyage I don’t want to serve two masters”.

II

at first arose
before me…

…an acre of abandoned land below
the scarp. I was thirty.

I was as a lily of the field
when I saw it overrun

with briars and I liked
the opening where it bordered

the beaten path
to the Seemingly Impossible,

wild cherries and rosemary.
And there, I stayed with scarecrow

trousers, and every so often
in bare moments I looked

at the broad night sky
as when as a boy I passed

my first night in the high alps
hunkered in the observatory.

III

Then in the Vernal months I stayed
alone within my austere prayers

I wanted much and who knows I wanted
that they were true before

Him, my dreams. But nothing
was already done

everything yet to become in motion
and in the battle I matured. Only

to go, I had to, and no
certainty was more distant

and learning through doing,
beginning again as a child,

and if it were a painful then,
now it is a daily present,

it is time,
sense…

IV

– And who made you do it, you, let it all go?
Many have interrogated me so:
– And – then they add, at the moment
– it is too complex, to say, –
sparing me my response:

with my friends
I unearth instead my doubt, (which is to offer a hand
through a difficult pass) of the truth.
While to Gianmario, months later, near the grave
of Carlo Carretto, I said I was in search of

my devotion:
–And my art.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

E mi poggiò sulla – Diana: di giacomo gusmeroli

La versione scritta di questa poesia è scomparsa. Una versione audio può essere trovata qui sotto con i link a ulteriori informazioni sul poeta:

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro Lucore d’acque.

 The written version of this poem has disappeared. More information about Giacomo Gusmeroli and his work can be found in Italian at the links above. 

quel tempo fu: di giacomo gusmeroli

La versione scritta di questa poesia è scomparsa. Una versione audio può essere trovata qui sotto con i link a ulteriori informazioni sul poeta:

Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro Lucore d’acque.

The written version of this poem has disappeared. More information about Giacomo Gusmeroli and his work can be found in Italian at the links above. A reading of this poem in English can be found below:

to listen to more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

What’s New Too…

Here are a few more updates to let readers know what this year’s IPM poets have been up to since February. If you missed the first ones, click HERE to find out what’s new with Gilles-Marie Chenot, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Chris Fillebrown.

Meanwhile…

Australian poet Brad Frederiksen has been posting a fabulous series of written and visual poems, photographs of natural and digital ‘ready-mades’ and other intriguing explorations of word/image/sound. My favorite so far is a jazzy riff on power-stations and paranoia whose staccato language had me running this one through my head to the tune of Miles Davis’ So What:

they say it’s a brown coal power station.
so what.
they say it “supplies approximately 22% of
Victoria’s electricity needs and
8% of the National Electricity Market”.
so what.
they say it burns 2,400 tonnes of brown coal per hour
and turns it into coolable hot steam.
i’m paraphrasing here.
so what.
    (excerpt from: it’s a power station. so what)

To see the image, the capturing of which this poem tells, click HERE for an epic visual commentary.

Italian poet Giacomo Gusmeroli kindly sent me a copy of his latest book Lucore d’acque which is a real joy, I’m hoping that someone will take up the project of translating more of his work. He tells me that he is busy at work on another book in which his IPM poems from this year will appear.

Danish poet Christian Stokbro Karlsen very generously sent me copies of his latest books, including “FJERNARKIV” from which this year’s IPM poem was selected, that have inspired me to try and learn some Danish. He’s currently working as an editor along with writing poetry for his next book.

After a serious illness in February and March, Texas poet Tom McClellan is back to his keyboard and editing engaging, round-table discussions on life, politics, and the nature of things via his e-newsletter (available by subscription with highlights posted at http://tommcclellan.wordpress.com/) while writing the occasional poem:

Holy Saturday, 2012
Sunrise and a trailed bar of cloud above
The blazing sun, a gold coin caught in the tree.
Across the sky another coin, the moon
… Chock full of hope and promise, glowing silver in the sky.

Some time later in the dawn
A brave falcon strides the wind
Like Christ forever on His way
Arriving all debts paid.

I’ll be back tomorrow with one last update on what the other poets have been up to. Happy reading!

"POWER" copyright Matthew Broussard 2009 all rights reserved
“POWER” copyright Matthew Broussard 2009 all rights reserved