forty nine

Total impulse buy. Never heard of her. Thought she looked pretty cool – actually ‘hard as nails’ – on the cover. Loved the title. Picked it up and started in. Kept reading as I got to the check-out and then into the nearest cafe. Pretty much read in a sitting. Very “European” in that arch way that make europhobes sneer about Bunuel movies or Kundera novels. Fuck’em. This isn’t all great poetry, but when it is good, it is bold, honest and carefree. It won’t be the right thing for every mood, for every day, but when it is right it will hit the spot.

These poems rarely have titles, they don’t appear to have a formal structure – although the translators note a great deal of attention has been paid in the original Italian, to the (hendecasyllable) meter and the use of traditional techniques – and they rarely end rhyme. But they have energy, drama, coffee, cats, cigarettes and passion. A few random quotes, from different poems:

“Two hours ago I fell in love/ & trembled, & I tremble still, / & and haven’t a clue whom I should tell”

“…(I) discover that every one of my emotions/ is due to some approaching thunder”

“…swaying anorexic or bulimic/ between two mothers as always/ this one who loves me falsely/ and would deny me food/ that one who loves me falsely/ and would kill me with food,/ and me forced to choose one or the other/ starve or binge…”

I love it when impulse is proven so correct. I finish with this poem (in its entirety) that did it for me:

“Someone told me/ of course my poems/ won’t change the world.

I say yes of course/ my poems/ won’t change the world.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: