EROS AND POLIS
of that time when I was God in my belly
English translation by Emanuel di Pasquale,
with a preface by John Taylor
& Indian ink drawings by Alberto Cini
ISBN 10: 1-879378-99-X
A Xenos Dual-Language Book
published in collaboration with Chelsea Editions
143 pages, $15.00
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Author Bio | Reviews | Read Selection
CLAUDIA ZIRONI was born and lives in Bologna, Italy. She went to school there and earned a bachelor's degree in Eastern history at the city university, followed by a master's degree in business management. Although devoted from the beginning to languages and poetry, she decided to publish her own work only fairly recently.
Her first book of poems was Il Tempo dell' esistenza / The Time of Existence, published by Marco Saya Edizioni in 2012, with an introduction by Paolo Polvani. Eros et polis / Eros and Polis is her second, published by Terra d'Ulivi Edizioni in 2014. The Italian edition, like the present, is illustrated by Alberto Cini. A third book is being published by Marco Saya: Fantasmi, spettri, schermi, avatar i altri sogni / Ghosts, Spectres, Screens, Avatars and Other Dreams.
Various of her poems, as well as reviews of her work, have appeared in Gradiva, Illustrati, Le Voci della Luna and other journals; on the websites Oubliette, La Recherche, L'Estroverso and others; and in anthologies such as Il ricatto del pane, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Ordite and others.
She is active in promoting poetry and poetry events in Bologna; a member of Gruppo 77, and a founder and director of the virtual fanzine Versante Ripido.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR AND THE ARTIST
EMANUEL DI PASQUALE was born in Ragusa, Sicily, and emigrated to America in 1957. His translations from Italian include The Journey Ends Here by Carlo della Corte (Gradiva, 2000), Sharing A Trip by Silvio Ramat (Bordighera Press, 2001) and Wings: Selected Poetry 2000-2005 by Franco Buffoni (Chelsea Editions, 2008). He has published many books of his own poetry, the latest being Knowing the Moment (Blast Press, 2015). In 2012 Xenos Books published his co-translation with Bruno Alemanni of Dante's La Vita Nuova. He lives by the ocean in Long Branch, New Jersey.
JOHN TAYLOR is an American writer, critic and translator who lives in France. Xenos Books has published two of his books, The Apocalypse Tapestries (2004) and Now the Summer Came to Pass (e-book, 2012). He is a noted translator of French, modern Greek and Italian poetry. His most recent from Italian is Lorenzo Calogero, Orchid Shining in the Hand: Selected Poems 1932-1960 (Chelsea Editions, 2015). His critical essays on European poetry and French literature have appeared in five volumes with Transaction Publishers, the latest of which is A Little Tour Through European Poetry (2014).
ALBERTO CINI, is a painter, poet, actor and stage director. He was a student of the painter Bianca Arcangeli, the Indian philosopher Baba Bedi and the sculptor Alcide Fontanesi His works are on permanent display at the art gallery Terre Rare of Bologna. Like Claudia Zironi, he contributes to the website Versante Ripido.
"I had never imagined the existence of the real Claudia Zironi. I had never met her, never heard her name mentioned, never read her poetry. Until recently, she was an abstraction unknown to me. But when my eyes chanced upon some of her writing on the internet, I sensed almost immediately that I had already gotten to know her. Discovered in this way, her distinct poetic style and subject matter perked my attention and curiosity; perceiving her work as stylistically truthful, my able spirit and sure literary tastes unmistakably appraised it as being as good as - if not better than - poetry by well-known authors, be they men or women. I like to believe I am a discoverer of strong women poets who write strong inventive poetry dealing with their personal realities.
"Claudia and I started exchanging e-mails, talking about poetry in general until, suddenly, she sent me the file of her first collection. Soon thereafter, it was published as a book in Italy as Eros e Polis. I was immediately drawn to, and admired, her vital, vigorously realistic, and thought provoking images of life, selfish men, and erotically tinged love.
"This was a collection of poems that I wanted to be translated and published. Here it is."
~ Alfredo de Palchi
from Eros and Polis
Poetess Claudia Zironi
ai piacevoli amanti
Non so dire quante volte ho visto
piogge torrenziali abbattersi,
rovinare a valle trascinando tronchi
radici e vuoti. Non so dire le ore infinite
temendo i lampi, quando la paura
era che finisse; e neppure so dire
delle onde tumultuose nell'illusione
che il loro placarsi non fosse
un nuovo deserto di rovi.
Non so, non so dire perché
le dune si afflosciano e mutano
al passaggio delle correnti, ogni volta
più aride e sterili. Erose
to delightful lovers
I cannot tell how many times I have seen
torrential rains beat themselves down,
fall apart in the valley, drag tree trunks,
roots and emptiness. I cannot tell the endless hours
fearing lightning, then fearing
that it would stop, and I cannot even tell
of the tumultuous waves in the illusion
that their being spent would not be
a new desert of briars.
I do not know, I do not know why
the dunes sag and change
with the passing of the currents, each time
more arid and sterile. Eroded
Sei un nameless, mindless, heartless,
un lessico immobile nella sede
di Lotta Comunista, un santo dipinto
nel tuo letto a una piazza dove
giaci immobile e ti offri senza godere
col pene eretto verso il sole
dell'avvenire, verso le porte
a cui bussi con un giornale
da vendere o da regalare. Un testimone
silenzioso del fallimento di Geova,
di Eros e di Marx. Perduto
nella negazione dell'individualità.
Una piccola vergogna senza nome
nei miei ricordi. Il solo nameless.
You are nameless, mindless, heartless,
an unmovable lexicon in the headquarters
of Lotta comunista,* a saint painted
on your single bed where
you lie immobile and offer yourself feeling no pleasure
with your erect penis aimed at the sun
of the future, toward the doors
you knock at with a newspaper
to either sell or give away. A silent
witness of the failure of Jehovah,
Eros and Marx. Lost
in the negation of individualism.
A small shame without name
in my memory. The only nameless one.
* A newspaper and political movement founded in 1965 by Arrigo Cervetto and Lorenzo Parodi and inspired by the theory and practice of Marx, Engels and Lenin.
31 dicembre 1999
Abbiamo esorcizzato la fine del millennio
vestendo di nero e scivolando sul ghiaccio.
Anche sul riso scivolavamo e sui fiori
troppo bianchi come i denti davanti
di tua cugina. La tombola, i balli, i baci,
i tanti applausi commossi: chiusi
in un cassetto, nell'album. Stanno lì
con Marilena e il suo cappotto
troppo leggero, con un parente
del quale non ricordo più
il nome, con lo zio Antonio che rideva,
che l'anno dopo è morto. Quando
in un agguato del caso lo vedo
mi prende un groppo alla gola:
quale follia? quel giorno
ci ha fatto dire sì, per la vita
- salvo divorzio.
31 december 1999
We have exorcized the end of the millennium
dressing in black and sliding on ice.
We also slid over the rice and the flowers,
too white like the front teeth
of your girl cousin. The bingo, the dances, the kisses,
the many touching applauses: shut in
a drawer, in the album. They are there
with Marilena and her too-light
coat, with a relative
whose name I no longer
remember, with uncle Antonio, who laughed,
who died the following year. When
ambushed by the event, I see it
I feel a lump in the throat:
what madness? That day
it made us say yes, for life
- except divorce.
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