Adriana Scanferla: Translated by Margaret Saine

Adriana Scanferla photo

BIO

Adriana Scanferla was born in Venice in 1949 and has been living in the province of Varese, where she collaborates with civic institutions in denouncing human rights violations against women and children world-wide. She feels that the Web might contribute to the diffusion of culture and democracy among peoples. Her poems have been published in many Italian anthologies and on the Internet. In 2014, she published her bilingual book of poetry, MENTRE BERLINO FELICE DANZAVA–WHILE BERLIN DANCED HAPPILY, dedicated to her longtime friend and collaborator, the Cardano al Campo mayor Laura Prati, murdered by political fanatics in 2013.

Margret Saine
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BIO

Margaret Saine was born in Germany and lives in Southern California, where she taught Spanish. She writes poetry and short stories in five languages, and regularly translates other poets. She has written prefaces for seven books of poetry. Her books in English are “Bodyscapes,” “Words of Art,” and 5 haiku chapbooks, plus several poetry mss. to be published: “Reading Your Lips”; “The Five Senses: Erotic Poems in Alphabetical Order”; “A Love in Winter”; and “Music of Reflected Light: Water Poems.” She is currently working on a volume of ekphrastic poems about music, art, and literature. In 2015 she published her Postwar childhood memoir “Ungeschicktes Kind” [Awkward Child] and a book of poems, “Das Flüchtige bleibt” [The Ephemeral Remains] in Germany. Her poetry has also appeared in Italy, France, Chile, Mexico, Jordania, India, and the Philippines. Margaret Saine is an editor of the California Poetry Quarterly, called CQ.
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*Adriana Scanferla’s poems are translated from original Italian into English by Margaret Saine.

 

 

ANIMA MIA

Anima mia nel segno d’Ariete,
racchiusa in meteore graffianti,
schizzi di scie sfavillanti
di mito e leggenda.

Costellazioni d’oroscopo, in cui
s’immerge lo sguardo indagatore,
preannunci cadenzanti d’amore
la nostra quotidianità.

Come nastri filanti luminosi
fremono tracciando il creato,
stelle cascanti di sogno ingannato,
di latente rimpianto mai esaudito.

Immemori ad arcani pianeti
affidiamo la nostra sorte,
dal fato un sussurro di morte
commiato per chi venuto è al mondo.

Noi goffi sognatori di ventura
ci arrendiamo vani alla fatalità,
fintanto che l’estrema verrà,
spargendo cenere per i campi alati.

Affinchè l’ultima nostra favilla
risplenda a nuova stella.

.

MY SOUL

My soul under the sign of Aries
enclosed in scratching meteors,
sketches of glittering wakes
of myth and legend.

Constellations of the horoscope,
for the inquiring glance to lose itself in,
the cadencing premonitions of love
amidst our daily lives.

As luminous streaming tapes
they quiver, tracing creation,
the falling stars of deceived dreams,
of latent regrets, never fulfilled.

Oblivious we entrust our destinies
to these arcane planets,
a whisper of death from our fate,
good-bye to those who came into the world.

We clumsy dreamers of adventure
surrender vainly to fatality
until the final one will reach us,
scattering ashes over winged fields.

So that our last spark
may shine forth to a new star.

.

CARTACCE LIBERE

Dilatata luminosa piazza deserta
compressa tra mura anonime e sbucciate,
il sole a picco muove al ristoro
oasi al riverbero tra due panchine
una chiazza d’ombra tra le frasche
che fresche oscillano alla brezza.

Io e te soli nella piazza desolata,
in questo paese di fantasmi rannicchiati
dietro alle mura dei vicoli cocenti
dove l’ombra si rifugia tra i battenti
scrostati in malandate case.

Seduti. Tu assorto a leggere il giornale
io placidamente intenta ad osservare
il venticello marino accumulare
cartacce libere ai bordi dell’aiuola.

Due figure in nero appesantite
giungono e posano alla panchina accanto,
l’una con i capelli grigi incolti
accrocchiati alla nuca, l’altra
più giovane d’età, invece sciolti
tragicamente a incorniciarne il volto.

I due marmocchi seguono.
Un piccolo normanno dai ricci biondi
gli occhi lucenti di un sorriso malato,
un mitra trasparente spianato
che mi agita davanti rumorosamente.

Lei la bimba un po’ più grandicella
“Come ti chiami?” sol per cortesia
“E tu?” mi ribatte “io son Mattia”
e allunga la manina sporca
ai miei calzoni bianchi,
poi inaspettatamente
con un ditino mi tocca
attirata dal rossetto in sulla bocca.

Sgradevole pietà dell’indigenza
che compassiona davanti alle creature
cresciute a nudo senza sovrastrutture
gallinelle in strada a razzolare.

Bislacche vite che si sfiorano,
hotel 4 **** con piscina
una selvatica piccola bambina
e il fratellino dagli occhi folli.

Sorti che si rasentano un momento
cartacce radunate alla marina
per poi disperdere la propria rotta
alla prima folata del destino.
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FREE-FLOATING WASTE PAPER

Wide and bright the empty square
compressed between anonymous chipped walls,
the blazing sun invites to seek a refreshment
against the glare an oasis between two benches
a patch of shade among the branches
that oscillate freshly in the breeze.

You and I alone in the desolate square,
in this town of ghosts huddled
behind the walls of scorching alleys,
where the shadow takes refuge among
the chipped doors of shabby houses.

Both seated. You absorbed in the newspaper
I placidly intent upon observing
the sea breeze that accumulates
waste papers at the edges of the flowerbed.

Two heavy figures in black come
and sit down on the next bench,
one of them, with gray unkempt hair
twisted at the nape, the other,
younger in age, instead wears them loose
to tragically frame his face.

Two brats follow.
A little Norman-looking one with blond curls
and the shiny eyes of a sick smile,
stretches out a transparent machine gun
that he shakes noisily in front of me.

The little girl somewhat bigger asks
“What’s your name?” and I politely counter
“And yours?” She replies “I am Mattia”
and extends her dirty little hand
toward my white trousers,
then unexpectedly,
attracted by the lipstick on my mouth,
touches it with her finger.

An unpleasant piety towards the indigent
makes us feel compassion for the creatures
growing up naked without superstructure,
spring chickens scratching in the street.

Weird lives that come in contact
at a four- star hotel with swimming pool,
a savage little girl and
her crazy-eyed little brother.

Lives for a moment brush against each other
waste papers piled high in the marina
are later dispersed from their course
by the first gusts of fate.
.

BRIGHT STAR

Come due sfere d’acciaio scintillanti
che nel cosmo si scontrano sfuggenti
vibrazione unisona che si diffonde
modulandosi in unica voce,

Così lo sprofondo del sole
estingue la musica abbagliante
cedendo spazio al nero silenzio
preludio funereo che si dissolve
nel tetro singhiozzo del tempo passato.

Primavera torna sempre a chi rimane
così l’inverno accompagna gli assenti
squarciando con le sue lame di ghiaccio
le guaste carni della solitudine.

Ho nascosto i miei capelli falciati
sotto un grande cappello nero
ed il fiocco di raso lucente
mi strangola calmo la gola.
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BRIGHT STAR

As two sparkling steel spheres
that meet in the cosmos flee each other
in a spreading monotone vibration
modulating one single voice,

So the sun’s deep penetration
extinguishes the dazzling music,
giving way to a black silence
a funereal prelude that dissolves
in the cheerless sigh of past time.

Spring always returns to those who remain
just as winter accompanies the absent ones
slashing with its icy blades
the tainted flesh of loneliness.

I have hidden my cropped hair
under a big black hat
and the shiny ribbon of its bow
quietly strangles my throat.

*****

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