Thursday, 25 November 2021

Three Poems by Piergiorgio Viti - Translated by Christopher Schwarten and Elisa Aceri


Rem sleep


translated by Christopher Schwarten


Yet the blue lines of the parking lot

had disappeared.

Yes, I was wandering among caravans,

small gardens, wooden steps

that led me nowhere.

Where is my car, where is it,

I scolded myself,

all while a dense mist

began to thin out the profiles

and outlines of the bungalows

of what appeared to be a tourist resort

and who knows how I got there.

The blanket of mist rose,

slowly blurring out every light.

I opened my eyes

out of fear

and, right at that moment,

as if you were with me in my dream,

but who knows where, on the sidelines,

you took my hand from under the pillow,

as if to tell me

not to worry,

that we always

find a way together.



after a documentary


translated by Elisa Aceri


If millions of years ago

they hadnt existed,

we wouldnt have had

all this oxygen.

We would have remained where we were

(and who knows where we were, who knows),

life wouldnt have developed

helixes, binary codes

nothing at all,

a clean slate, an absolute zero.


But thanks to stromatolites,

to their air bubbles,

we exist


we kiss in the evening

while eating soup.

And thanks to them

in the gardens of Recanati*

kids can wave hello

and at night, under the covers,

I can whisper to you

Hug me

for if you turn away,

it gets colder.

*Recanati is an Italian city, famous as the birthplace of poet Giacomo Leopardi.




Translated by Elisa Aceri

Melissa lives behind a screen.

A dull life.

Never a picture of her,

never a glimpse of her mouth or nail polish.

Nobody knows with what eyes she wakes up.

Nobody knows how she supports herself,

if she works or studies,

if every week she stands in line at the post office.

Melissa seems like a loner.

Someone who prefers felines

instead of dates or dinner invites.

Someone whos into oversized sweaters,

and juniper teas while watching tv.


But every week

she cleans the beach by her house.

She sweeps up bottles and cans

and plastic corks.

Then, in a precise order,

she gathers them at the centre of the beach.

She takes pictures for social media.

Youre this, she says.

Youre cumbersome monsters.

Dumb beasts that escaped from their cages.

Youre cancers sick with cancer.

Off-key butterflies that should be hung on a wall.

Youre karma made of polyester.

Youre orphans of yourselves.


And after posting,

she disappears into a digital hibernation.

Melissa disappears

in a megabyte seclusion

and maybe, with no more gigabytes,

she goes somewhere

to atone for the sins of the world,

to pay that debt

that we all have

in the double entry of conscience.



Piergiorgio Viti lives in Italy, where he works as a professor.

He has published five books of poetry and the sixth is in the press. His poems are translated into five languages and published in anthologies, literary sites, magazines of all over the world. He also wrote for the theater: "The fable of Virginio and Virgilio" with famous singer Tosca as protagonist and "Ray's dreams" (dedicated to Ray Charles) with an important actor as Carlo Di Maio. He went on stage in the theater as author and acting voice for "The voice of man", a tribute to the Italian song-writer Sergio Endrigo. He is involved in the dissemination of poetry through the organization and participation in festivals around the world.




1 comment:

  1. The first poem I heard of Piergiorgio Viti was in Italy at the funeral of a beloved mutual friend. He read it first in Italian, which was so moving although I didn't understand it all, and then a wonderful Dutch translation was read. This poem moved to the bottom of my soul. I am so happy now to read his beautiful poetry in English as there is no Dutch translation. Yet. If, no, when the first bundle of his poetry in Dutch will be sold in the shops, I will be the first one to buy a copy! And I hope I will be able to travel to Italy to have it signed by this wonderful gifted man!


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