I can’t say exactly
what is still missing, perhaps
your being a coral,
vivid and threatened, my
settling in you, making you opaque
an inelastic rock, close
to disintegration, a patient limestone,
a shelter for flawless elementary animals.
They will guard us together, in the already
starry and silent nights, from the ravines
of our new world
in formation – in absentia.
“Il Cavallino” was opened more than three years ago in Voghera, a town in the heart of the Oltrepò Pavese, as a place of encounter/collision for used and out of print books that are often impossible to find. The bookseller herself, Marina Regno, speaks of encounter/collision, because she considers her books as vital creatures who love and hate each other and try to steal space from each other, jostling to show off. This bookshop is a joy for all the readers who love the scent of old books, who are not afraid of stains on old paper and are eager to dwell on the occasional handwritten note, which sometimes adds poetry to poetry, as happened to a copy of Pavese’s book, Death will come and will have your eyes. Marina hopes that her small rooms will—at least in part—counteract the laziness of those who shop online, without touching, watching or smelling the history of books that were loved, read or only browsed by other people. At the bookshop Il Cavallino, the shelf dedicated to poetry is particularly well-stocked: it ranges from the classics to poets of the new generation, from big publishing houses to small independent publishers, without neglecting limited edition booklets and other rare jewels. For this issue of ILLUSTRATI, Marina suggests and comments Works by John Keats and Legame di sangue (Blood tie) by Alberto Bevilacqua.
Libreria Il Cavallino, Via Don Minzoni 39, Voghera - Tel: 0383 191 7970
On the Grasshopper and Cricket
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever.
It is almost superfluous to say something about John Keats, English poet whose life was short and troubled, but it is always worth remembering that he is considered the greatest second-generation Romantic poet. Born in London in 1795 to a humble family, he soon found out he had a talent for literature—poetry in particular. Among his works are the Odes, the narrative poems The Eve of St. Agnes, Lamia and Isabella, or the Pot of Basil and the abandoned epic poem The Fall of Hyperion. A Dream. He died aged 26 of tuberculosis, his body rests in the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome.
His epitaph (which he dictated himself) reads: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”
OPERE, John Keats, Meridiani Mondadori 2019
V. Borges’ House
tigers and their gold,
tigers with iridescent coat
from the reed beds of Paraná…
Sometimes considered too “commercial,” Alberto Bevilacqua is the author of both novels and interesting poems, such as this one, of which we quote three lines. In this ode dedicated to the great Argentinian poet, Bevilacqua recalls Borges’ love for tigers, thus bringing us back, by association, to the hourglass and mirrors in which our Eternity and our endless Genesis shatter to recompose, changing images and words or leaving them there, static yet alive, like a flame, like a fire, to warm the frozen silence of the Universe.
LEGAME DI SANGUE, Alberto Bevilacqua, Mondadori Poesia 2003