Printer Friendly


<i>Il n'y a point de Polype, ni de Cameleon, qui puisse changer de couleur aussi souvent que l 'eau.</i>

--G. Bachelard

<i>Mutamenti del fuoco: da prima mare, e dal mare una meta terra e una meta fiamma in cielo.</i>

<i>Morte delle anime e diventare acqua, morte dell'acqua divenire terra: ed e dalla terra che si fa l'acqua, e dall'acqua l'anima.</i>


The road climbs aslant the cliff
Wrapped in myrtle and juniper.
The cliff bursts into phalanxes and clefts and peaks
above the sea that alters with the sky. Neither
octopus nor cuttlefish neither chameleon
nor jellyfish can change itself like
the water. And water rises in the hollow
sky of the soul where the soul meets its death.
The water on the spiked coast of Liscia becomes
earth pointing a finger against
the blue air. It is granite
shaped by the wind, hemmed in by somber clouds of
sulfur, facing the sea. It is liquid copper
flaring up in the fire, it is fire
which the wind widens into lava slabs to
extract the very last shapes of gods and
plants, of men and wild beasts.
Already reptiles run on the burning
fire, fish get trapped, lead
has buried the snail inside the granite,
and now even the granite sees with eyes
of silver on a red field. Melted by
the raging wind, earth has burned the water,
it is dead; but now, lo!, here inside the earth and
inside the granite there is a wind which
alters with lightning and fire; it is light. And
ammonia and phosphorus, methane and nitrogen
drip the living stone into the water.
If you retake the road
that climbs up the cliff covered with myrtle
and juniper, you observe again--it is the coast of Liscia--
the pattern of the world
imprinted on each grain of sand. A chameleon flat
in the sun replicates the signs of the stone up to
the stars. The stars' opaque dust drips down
into the salt which the sun distills. Mornings, the parched
grass sprouts again with the same
rustle of the snake when it slithers out
of its hole. The earth is a ram
piercing itself with new shoots of liquid green.
Water gushes out and it is earth, and you walk
on the sea, your steps steady on waves of
grass and of earth. You are afire. In the sighs
of the deep waters, in a
single atom of gray dust, you become
crystal. Your song bursts out of
their soul.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Poetry Atlanta, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:The poetry of ITALY
Author:Copioli, Rosita
Publication:Atlanta Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2011
Previous Article:Toto Merumeni.
Next Article:For You to Title.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters