Spolia, vol. I – Federico Rossignoli

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Spolia, vol. I
Federico Rossignoli

Preface by Sandro Pecchiari

pag. 54
Isbn. 978-88-96526-65-1


Only ten poems in Spolia (Spoils), the first volume of a widening series revisiting the world of myths to retrieve the experiences of outward and inner journeys, from ancient Greece but also from the Viking, Polynesian and Celtic worlds. Myths that Federico Rossignoli has been rekindling through the fascinating Renaissance and Baroque rewritings: Christopher Marlowe and Luis de Góngora on the poetry side, Domenico Freschi and Claudio Monteverdi on the music one, just to quote some authors. These ten poems reread and rewrite myths which are still lurking in our contemporary reality, and make use of a language that can balance classical canons and narrative slowness with the unexpected breathless and much quicker irruption of direct speech. Perceivable only through the sudden acceleration of the verse. Federico has set precise limits of closed versification on himself to develop a stunning equilibrium between these two extremely far mythical and historical dimensions.

[Sandro Pecchiari]
To Cecilia Gonzaga
How far the sea is from my virtue –
the setting sun tucks fingers into the water,
gushing obstinate white lead and gold from blood.
Behold, the unicorn was farther still
when, with my skirt and bootees soaked,
I was set to quest for him in the new night.
He was along the shore and waiting
for me to fondle his chin-tuft,
both following each other’s glance, far beyond the sea.
A Cecilia Gonzaga
Quanto è lontano il mare dalla mia virtù –
calza il sole del tramonto le sue dita in acqua
e dal sangue sgorga biacca ostinata e oro.
Ecco, l’unicorno era ancora più lontano
quando con la gonna e le scarpette fradice
scelsi di cercarlo fuori nella notte nuova.
Era là lungo la spiaggia ad aspettare me
e gli accarezzavo il ciuffo sotto al mento
inseguendo col mio sguardo il suo, molto oltre il mare.
Her skirt so short, her bosom tightly bandaged
such was the vow Syrinx the dryad had made to Artemis
and pleads her body to stay forever pure
a spring that spurs thirst but never sates it.
Pan knew there was no chance he could seduce her
and for sure the thirsty would not smooth the water,
but would dive and slap and spurt all over
with endless loot and endless spoil.
Rather than perturb her reflected image
the girl would scatter herself among the reeds
she surely would turn into a reed herself
thin and pulpy keeping guard to her sought-for emptiness.
Stand back, you deers, and you squirrels, go away
go drink elsewhere ‘cause Pan is sadly reaping here
his longings, the small ones and the big ones,
and deems them empty and deems them narrow
too small room for a song.
Ha la gonna corta e la fascia stretta al petto
la driade Siringa quale voto ad Artemide
e supplica che il corpo suo resti sempre puro
fonte che fomenta sete senza mai placarla.
Pan sapeva che non c’era modo di sedurla
e di certo l’assetato non blandisce l’acqua
vi si tuffa la schiaffeggia e schizza dappertutto
fa bottino senza fine e senza fine sconcia.
Piuttosto che turbare l’immagine riflessa
si sparpaglierebbe la ragazza fra le canne
ella stessa si farebbe canna di palude
esile e carnosa a guardia del suo caro vuoto.
State indietro cervi e voi, scoiattoli, sparite
bevete altrove perché Pan qui tristo miete
le sue voglie, dalle piccole alle grandi
e le trova vuote e strette, ci sta solo una canzone.