Baptism of light

by Paolo Polvani

Sunrise puckers up a babbling of faint light.
Renews a network of roads, announces
the powerful syllables of the sun.
Ancient seasons take the horizon by the hand
to cross the ford of days and cracks.

The sun names the houses one by one, reveals them
in the ritual of a baptism of light.

Paolo Polvani


by Francesca Del Moro

Poemata is renovating! Starting from this month, we will host some booksellers particularly interested in poetry, asking them to suggest a couple of books related with the theme of the current issue. Let’s start with Trame, a bookshop in Bologna.

Since 2005, Trame bookshop displays a whole bookshelf dedicated to poetry with approximately 200/250 volumes, including classics and new releases, by both mainstream and small publishers specializing in poetry. It hosts “Paesaggi di poesia” (Poetry landscapes), a series of events organized by Sergio Rotino, with 15/20 readings every year, and collaborates with Milena Magnani on the Rosada poetry collection, published by Kurumuny. For this issue of ILLUSTRATI Trame bookshop suggests Scintille nel buio by Maria Modesti and La buona stella delle cose nascoste (The lucky star of of hidden things, including the original English version) by Afric Mc Glinchey.

Scintille nel buio

by Maria Modesti

Light sets the night
on fire – still
on the edge of life.

In her compact, intensely melodious lines, sometimes sounding like a psalmody, the author takes the reader through a long spiritual journey, crossing symbolical geographies reflecting the eternal dichotomy of light and darkness. From the roar of gloom in a land scarred by horror and violence, silence rises up, introducing a new creation. It’s the rebirth the migrants see in the mirage of the desert’s light, the light that is revealed through a succession of epiphanies (“swirling light,” “sun-drenched clays,” “sparkling scales on the horizon”). Maria Modesti was born in Manciano. She is a poet, playwright and contributor to several magazines. Mario Luzi writes about her: “Her poetry is made of naked spaces, memories and evocations, and all the emotions merge in the null and epic feeling of human existence.”

Scintille nel buio by Maria Modesti, Passigli 2018

The lucky star of of hidden things

by Afric Mc Glinchey

She talked to stars, reckless,
their light, an oasis to cling to
through sheets of night

Sadalachbia, or “the lucky star of hidden things”, is a greenish star rising in spring; it signals the beginning of thawing and encourages nomads to move towards new grazing lands. Likewise, poetry enlightens the unnoticed details of everyday life, revealing their deep meanings, thus recreating them before our eyes. Nature, memory, nostalgia, eros, sorrow, love, happiness, fear: using a realistic, innovative language, the author explores the innermost recesses of the manifold human experiences. Afric Mc Glinchey lives in Ireland. She is an award-winning poet, her work has been translated into several languages, and reveals her ability to tell—according to Sergio Rotino—“places, people, events, with a pure, curious, careful and definitely direct gaze.”

The lucky star of of hidden things, Afric Mc Glinchey, L’Arcolaio 2015