Poetry. Translated from the Italian by Steven Grieco. Bilingual Edition. Preface by Andrej Silkin. The title poem of the Chelsea edition, Tre fotogrammi dentro la cornice / Three Stills in a Frame, was composed over a period of twenty years, from 1992-2013. The seven-page poetic narrative begins in the 1930s with the rise of Mussolini, before the poet's birth, and jumps to a photo of the poet's mother in the 1950s; the description of her room and the snowy world outside her window expands to encompass the decade, then other photos open up frames in his mind, mixing events, historic figures and his life in the twentieth century, leading to his mock Hamletish funeral in the new century. Hamlet inspires much of the poetry in Linguaglossa's first collection of 1988, Atirev (L'Anagramma della Verità) / Atirev (The Anagram of Verità). The second collection from 1989, Blumenbilder (Natura morta con fiori), has much to do with faces, portraits, classic art. The third, Uccelli / Birds, published in 1992, not only speaks of birds, but also of the wings of angels and the dust of kings of the past. The fourth, Paradiso / Paradise (2000) introduces the conversations of dark angels brooding over nihilistic doctrines of ancient Greek philosophers. These obscure Greek philosophers debate haughtily in the fifth volume: La Belligeranza del Tramonto / The Belligerence of Sunset (2006); while in the next, Girone dei Morti Assiderati / The Circle of the Frozen Dead (2013), gondoliers sing as they transport souls and shadows of living dead on the Styx. The last volume, Riposta al Signor Cogito di Zbigniew Herbert / Reply to Zbigniew Herbert's Mister Cogito (2014), places the morally certain Mr. Cogito in an ambiguous surrealist setting with different times, historical figures and secret police searching for a little black notebook with all the answers.
"The poet writes in an age when all the great poetic effects, lyric emotions and inspiring messages have already been expressed, and therefore Linguaglossa employs a plain-talk approach, shunning metaphors, pathos and grand conclusions, yet often rises to a high style with mythic breadth, uncommon imagery and weighty concepts. He does not try to save the failed and decadent world deprived of meaning, but rather opts for a poetry that turns the present into a launchpad to the future: a Dantesque poetry, constructed out of fragments of images and metaphors, absolutely felicitous in terms of expression. To heal the fragmented, this is Linguaglossa's intention. The overall meaning, the final summa, is not stated, but peeks out from the detail: 'the reader is expected to seek it out for himself and recognize it for what it is.'"—Andrej Silkin, from the Preface
Giorgio Linguaglossa, born in Istanbul in 1949, is an innovative and philosophical poet living in Rome. In addition to seven collections of poetry, all well represented in the present bilingual publication, he has translated English, French and German poets, including Nelly Sachs and Georg Trakl, into Italian. In 1993 he founded the literary quarterly Poiesis, and two years later published in issue No. 7 a much-discussed "Manifesto of the New Metaphysical Poetry." From 1997 to 2000 he was editor-in-chief of the journal, and from 2002 to 2013 produced a half-dozen critical studies on twentieth-century poetry. He has two novels, Ventiquattro tamponamenti prima di andare in ufficio / Twenty-four Pile-ups Before Getting to the Office (2005) and Ponzio Pilato / Pontius Pilate (2010).
Author City: ROME ITA