da Le lacrime delle cose, Moretti & Vitali, 2009
Seamus si chiama quell’uomo dai capelli candidi
seduto quieto nella confusione di un aeroporto
nel luogo degli attraversamenti fuori campo
viene dalla campagna del Derry in Irlanda
dal mondo verde dove la terra è terra e la poesia
poesia per un invito: “piantatelo, piantatelo l’ontano”.
Scems si pronuncia come sciabordio d’acqua antica
è un poeta mentre il suo pungente sorriso si apre
agli spettatori tranquilli in attesa da due ore
mentre gli annunci frenetici s’alzano sulle voci
e gli aerei faticano ad alzarsi nel cielo torvo
dove le nuvole si ammassano e viene un nubifragio.
Ti alzi. “Tutto può succedere” ci dici con Orazio
il fulmine senza il tuono a cielo sereno
la sorte crudele che senza un avviso s’avventa.
Non vediamo la scia degli aerei in volo
dai vetri bagnati non un chiurlo sopra la pista
non è questo un bosco di querce o di betulle.
Poeta frugale in bilico nella nebbia come uccello
con i piedi sulla terra e la testa gentile e arruffata
lasci di passaggio la tua orma dell’infinito
qui a Fiumicino dove il fiume corre per finire al mare.
Che effetto fa, mi chiedete, incontrare Seamus Heaney?
Il corpo, umile argine al proprio tempo, un corpo.
11 settembre 2005
Seamus is the name of that man with the white hair
sitting quietly amid the confusion of the airport
in this hall of offstage crossings
he comes from the Derry countryside in Ireland
from the green world where earth is earth and poetry
poetry for an invitation: “Plant it, plant the alder”.
Scemus they say it like the splash of ancient waters
he’s a poet and he turns his searching smile
on the patient audience waiting for two hours
as frantic bulletins resound above the chatter
and airplanes lumber off into a sullen sky
where the clouds gather and a cloudburst threatens.
You rise. “Anything can happen” you tell us with Horace
a clapless thunderbolt out of a clear blue sky
cruel fate that strikes without a warning.
We see the contrails of the planes in flight
through rain-smeared windows no curlew on the tarmac
this is no wood of oaks and birches.
A frugal poet poised like a bird in fog
feet on the ground a kind and ruffled head
your passing leaves its trace of infinite
here in Fiumicino where a small river runs into the sea.
What was it like, you ask me, meeting Seamus?
The body, humble levee against time, a body.
Translated by Anthony Oldcorn**
*Gabriella Sica was born in Viterbo. She has been living in Rome – her adopted town – since she was ten years old. From 1980 to 1987 she had edited the “Prato pagano” review, in which a lot of modern literary generation writers brought out their works or made their own debut. After publishing some works in reviews and anthologies such as “Almanacco dello specchio” in 1983, in 1986 her first book of poetry La famosa vita was published; then, in 1992, Vicolo del Bologna, and in 1997 Poesie bambine, and in 2001 Poesie familiari (winner of International Poetry Prize “Camaiore”). Le lacrime delle cose went out in 2009 (Prize Garessio-Ricci, Prize Alghero Donna and Prize Giuseppe Dessì). She edited the anthology La parola ritrovata. Ultime tendenze della poesia italiana (1995), Scrivere in versi. Metrica e poesia (1996), now available in a new updated and extended edition (2011). In 2000 she published Sia dato credito all’invisibile. Prose e saggi. Sica’s last work is Emily e le Altre. Con 56 poesie di Emily Dickinson (Roma, Cooper, 2010) where sections are dedicated to Margherita Guidacci, Cristina Campo, Nadia Campana and Amelia Rosselli. Her poems have been translated in Spanish, French, English, Romanian, Croatian e Turkish. Some of her poems are available on YouTube and she has a Facebook page.
**Anthony Oldcorn was born in Lancashire, England and studied Modern Languages with Richard Sayce at Worcester College, Oxford. After getting a B.A. degree, he moved to the USA and studied and taught at the University of Virginia and Harvard University, where he obtained a Ph.D. He taught for several years at Wellesley College before going on to Brown University, where he eventually retired as chair of Italian Studies. He continues to teach on occasion at the University of Bologna. He is widely published academic and literary translator.