Thursday, December 14, 2006


On this site
I still can't distinguish
tentative walls from scaffolds.
I don't understand
where the mechanism of construction
stops, and its body begins.
Amid dust, wood,
and the shouts of carpenters,
I fail to separate
object from project,
product from plan.


The silence between one page and the next,
the long stretch of land to the woods
where shadows gather
and shirk the day,
where night blossoms
separate and precious
like buds on a bough.
In this dazzling,
mapped-out delirium,
I still don't know
whether to be the country I'm crossing
or the journey across


There is a moment when the body
collects itself in a breath
and all thought is suspended, and wavers.
When everything
touched by the moon
likewise submits to the sigh of tides
or to the sweet sways of the eclipse.
And the wood of boats
swells in the undertow.

- Valerio Magrelli, Nearsights: Selected Poems, translated by Anthony Molino (Graywolf: 1990)


Anonymous said...

Cool Post, nicely written

Cheshire Cat said...

Interesting, hadn't heard of Magrelli before. It's so hard to find poetry in translation that's worthwhile...

Falstaff said...

Cat: Neither had I. I was just browsing through the Graywolf Press publications in the library (I like their stuff) and came across him.

Cheshire Cat said...

Indeed, if there's something better than the recommendation of a book, it's the recommendation of an entire press...