Alfredo De Palchi

The Scorpion's Dark Dance 

Translated from the Italian by Sonia Raiziss

ISBN 1-879378-05-1 (paper)
xiii, 129 pages, $15



The Scorpion's Dark Dance has won reviews that any writer would envy. The American Book Review hailed these poems, written in an Italian prison after World War II, as "dark exuberance, bright anger, cutting cynicism which hammers us to the other side of apathy." World Literature Today wrote: "His harsh, unrelenting stance and his beautiful and disquietening imagery belong to one who draws in the dark while longing for the light." Small Press observed: "De Palchi masterfully creates and expands singularly intense metaphors that sometimes convey a stony, Dantesque harshness or else a transcendent Montalean complexity. There are glimpses of redemption and self-insight, but they occur only intermittently and are clearly hard-won."



Excerpts from The Scorpion's Dark Dance:

The first cause
engrafts the nebulous aorta
and quickens consciousness
with the abject drop that splits
the egg
starting the womb
fit for affliction


A fanfare of swirling
mosquitoes in the sunset
and the world's a merry-go-round
a festival of snippets of light
- as for me, wavering
I ride this vertiginous heart plagued
by mosquitoes


Down slams the fist
on the total
teeming of nature this
gesture suffers
over the helpless
voracity of
insects and
my own


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