Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Alfonso Gatto 'A Day Where the Hour'

On a day when the news is full of cops killing people who were unarmed, I don't know what to post. I daren't look online. The new books of poetry mostly have their spines intact. Instead, I look in another shelf that contains precious books that are out of print and will never be found outside of chance encounters on pavements with second-hand books.

I said 'encounters' when I was trying to avoid the word. 

From an ancient copy of Italian Writing Today, here's Alfonso Gatto. I have the page propped open with a CD cover, trying not to stress the spine.

 A Day Where the Hour

by Alphonso Gatto, translated by Gavin Ewart

A day where the hour of death is
may not be the place, but the bier
goes down everywhere towards it doors
of darkness, the earth does not learn

the name which its living chose for it.
In the invisible boundaries that you touch,
from the sky to the mountains to the trees where you arrive
dying to look at it again with your eyes,

the earth is the distance and your journey.
But, once there, is earth all near to itself,
the perpetual eavesdropping of a mirage 
that fixes on every eyelash its thorn.

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