Loophole

Day 30!
Poem 30!

I did it!

Today’s prompt was a translation poem. I took a translation class a few years ago and still have some books from Mariangela Gualtieri, an Italian poet who I considered for my project but didn’t end up using. I pulled out Bestia di Gioia and flipped through it to see if I’d find anything of interest. I ended up choosing a page and a half from “Un Niente Piu Grande” and began doing a literal translation when the imagery made me think of Atlas, and then Sisyphus and Prometheus, too. I can’t say if this was supposed to be a part of Gualtieri’s poem. Once I was finished with the literal translation, I rearranged and reworded lines to create a poem about these three mythological characters. Some of Gualtieri’s text is still in there, but a lot of it is new.

Loophole

This mountain is steep, but I must
power through. This stone can conquer anything.
It conquers me daily. The slightest tremor
and my progress comes to pieces.

The path to love smells like smoke,
and the world has taken me prisoner.
At night I dream of running, crying
to all who will listen than I am here.

I would set down the weight amassed
on my profound shoulders and bid farewell
to the sun at dawn. The world falls
off its axis, unbalanced from time.

We are pinned between history and repetition
but we feel for a loophole, a crack
that might open wide if we push together,
if we use our considerable strength.

 

 

If you’re interested in the original Italian:

from Un Niente Piu Grande
by Mariangela Gualtieri (Bestia di Gioia, 2010)

Era tutta scoscesa
nella grazia. Sassosa dentro
vinta da tutto. Nel duro
nel battere d’un antico spasimo
fatta a pezzetti.

Voleva scappare. E tutto il corredo
di fuga, ogni giro d’orbita chiamava
la prigioniera alla fuga. Via
dagli amori maleodoranti
dalle mansioni della casa
fino a tutta l’orbita slegata –
imbizzarrire il tempo
nel lontanissimo dell’avventura.

Ma era tremolata e lenta, rigida dentro
in un incrosto di secoli e ripetizioni
in un fisso immobile
era che la scappatoia
che quella aperta feritoia
non bastava alla corsa.

Puerile sogno di solcare
la vita al galoppo
e aprirsi all’alba – rispondere
al punto del cielo lontano
che dice “e qui e qui” – ritorna –

Poi deposita il peso, quell’ammasso
impigliato nella profundita,
quel salutare spasimo
di fuga.

Tutta l’alba e li vicina.
Arriva dentro la camera
col suo raggio nuovo e consola
un poco d’essere restati.
Quella rinuncia al passo
spericolato che porta
al paradiso col suo latte
straniero, col panorama.

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