Pain is often considered to be the most prolific source of inspiration. By questioning this assumption and taking the cue from the Seven Gods of Fortune of Japanese mythology and folklore, the poets selected for this issue have been invited to write happy and positive lines. Sticking to the theme of the selection, the epic verses of Alessandro Silva narrate the traumatic birth of Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune and also the Japanese god of fishermen, ending with a note of unexpected sweetness. Equally set in the Land of the Rising Sun, the poem by Flavio Scaloni is a delicate portrait of young women to whom a rain of propitiatory flowers promises the fulfilment of their impatient desires. The clear and imaginative lines by Rita Stanzione bring an illumination into focus–the joy that blossoms quivering among the colours on the palm of a hand in the white of dawn, perpetuating the purity and the miracle of birth. In the sparkling nursery rhyme by Veronica Liga, a blank sheet of paper and fresh ink are the protagonists of an amusing parable about the difficulty of preserving happiness in spite of the obstacles that you can overcome only if you are ready to change direction. The poem by Mariella Tafuto is full of joy yet moving at the same time: if legs cannot jump, it is the perpetually young heart that does it in their place, healed of every sorrow, renewed and always pushed ahead by Love.
has broken and buried bones since he was born,
he pushed new ones, on his own, with the fury
of delivery. Legs were born among the canes and
a barbarian skeleton’s light started to grow.
You are a dough of pure white, good luck and
jellyfish, you sweat every sea-drop
in the chest that speaks and feeds
the Pond Loach on sleep: one day he gave
the earth a bite of snouts and paws
torn from infernal dogs. The day
Ebisu closed his tongue on sleep.
He made a winter soil for him, afterwards,
and a last supper of wasps and needles.
And Ebisu even lulled the Fish to sleep: “Be sweet
to humans”. Then he laughed with fragile affection.
I took an auteur white paper,
Some ink with the lather,
A pen with a feather –
And I wrote, “I AM HAPPY.”
Then I quickly folded the paper
– the ink was still fresh –
To send a circular letter
Urbi et orbi – a solar message.
But the ink hadn’t dried yet
And it spread out everywhere
It ran away leaving the traces
Of the message that was misshapen.
A heap of crumbled paper
Was left between my fingers
Covered with the stains
Of crazy colours and shapes.
Of it I made a ball
As spiteful as a little girl can be
And now I throw it against the hostile walls
Between me and happy me!
Elastic are your heart walls
not thickened by years and sufferings
as young as those of a girl
– the cardiologist told me in amazement.
They contract, with renewed vigour
at each beat. And it’s you, Love, what gives
impetus to the self-confident movement
of the two heart valves, jumping rope
in my chest. They jump, like my legs
never could. I have seen them, you know, they
looked like girls having fun. They laughed with joy
at every jump.
We who are
beginnings of dawn
as smooth as feathers
white with silence
with colours in our palms
we turn around,
a finished moment
in the crystals
the removed ropes
days of light years
the point is
we are in the same point
where we were born
that sip of spores,
that miracle of nudity
On the cherry tree days
every falling flower
on the white dumb
kimono of impatient girls.
The last flower
-and most precious one-
falls asleep in the hair
of the least attentive girl
and offers her a fate.
Triptychs, namely three works for each of four figurative artists, accompanied by a poem that originates from them and then takes a new direction of its own. Images igniting imagination, a dialogue between two creative expressions that in turn establishes further levels of dialogue. The artists chosen by Annamaria Ferramosca for this book have one thing in common: the centrality of the female figure – Modigliani’s women with long necks and blank eyes, the lived-images rich in colours and symbols by Frida Kahlo, the ecstatic and evanescent figures by Cristina Bove; the exactitude of the physical and psychological details in the portraits by Antonio Laglia. Drawing inspiration and at the same time generously paying homage to the four artists, Annamaria Ferramosca offers a collection of poems constantly reaching out towards the other, towards encounters: between the subject and the artist; the artist and the poet; the subject and the poet; between the alternation of artist, subject and poet on the one hand and the reader-observer on the other. Far from supplying mere captions to the selected works, each poem nevertheless analyses the works focusing on their main features – shapes, colours, composition, background – making them the starting point for the exploration of existential themes and for narrative developments concerning especially women. As Maria Teresa Ciammaruconi explains in the foreword, the women in frame are brave enough to speak out and tell all the modesty, shame, desires, and resignation of real women. A narrative that develops through an alternation of points of view and interlocutors. The women portrayed by Modigliani directly speak to the artist coming and going between their feelings and the stylistic choices of the person who portrays them, whereas those by Antonio Laglia address the reader referring to the artist in the third person. As regards the works by Frida Kahlo, the painter who is also the subject of her paintings translates into words the firm gaze she addresses us from her self-portraits and in one case she speaks to another figure, Xólotl, the dog that leads the dead to the afterworld according to the Mexican tradition. The poet adopts an ever-changing perspective for the computer art works by Cristina Bove, who influenced Annamaria both as a writer and as a visual artist: the third person narration alternates here with the first person of the subject of the work and lets the first person poet appear only in a brief line that lasts a moment, as if to reveal one’s debt towards the chosen artworks. This communicative vivacity focuses on the one side on the continuum between arts: even the lines by Annamaria are vividly pictorial whereas the images in turn suggest narrative possibilities and can be translated into words in the mind of the beholders. The continuum of art and life emerges even more vividly: they can’t be separated, they flow into each other, igniting each other. And they finally catch fire, because Annamaria’s writing is intense and passionate, starting from the creativity that she shows as she handles the language: the words often fuse together, two by two, bringing about a third and deeply suggestive term (sweetexaggerated; calm-blue; doll-in-the-corner; face-abyss; hurricaneye; flowerimprints), they split and expand their polysemy (de-fine me), making room for incursions of direct speech in italics, flowing in rich musical scores. The female figures question themselves and the artist who portrays them, they force us to think. Both curator and art history guide, the poet leads us through this small group exhibition focused on female portraits in a deeply moving itinerary, that we will continue to follow on our own after closing the book.
Dotcom.press Edizioni 2016