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They Speak.

There's such a quiet around that you can almost hear the tinkle of a teaspoon falling in Finland.

--Joseph Brodsky
 But why forever behind my wall? Forever behind, the voices,
forever when night falls they start to speak, to howl or even believe
whispering's better. (While I feel this draught of cold air from
their words that freezes me, binds me and torments me in sleep.) On the
limits of the Arctic Circle a couple were weeping in their room beyond a
transparent wall, weeping, luminous, tender as if it were a tympanum
membrane. (While I resonated, sound box for their story.) To the point
that at home here they've redone the roof, the piping, frontage,
the whole lot, were hammering everywhere, above, below, and hammering
forever chattering among themselves just when I slept, just because I
slept, just so that I could be the sound box for their stories. 


Translation from the Italian By Peter Robinson

Valerio Magrelli (b. 1957), a native of Rome, is a professor :of French literature at the University of Cassino. His first three collections of poetry are Ora serrata retinae (1980), Natura and venatura (1987), and Esercizi di tiptologia (1992), reprinted with new poems in Poesie (1981-1992) e altre poesie (1996). His most recent volumes are Didascalie per la lettura di un giornale (1999) and Disturbi del sistema binario (2006). Farrar, Straus & Giroux published his Vanishing Points: Poems, translated by Jamie McKendrick (2010). "Parlano" the poem translated here, is from Esercizi di tiptologia.

Editorial note: For more about translator Peter Robinson, see page 39.
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Title Annotation:Italian Poetry: Part 3
Author:Magrelli, Valerio
Publication:World Literature Today
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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