from Theme of Farewell
by Milo de Angelis
translated by Susan Stewart and Patrizio Ceccagnoli
In you all deaths gather, all
the broken glasses, the sere pages, the derangements
of thought, they gather in you, guilty
of all deaths, incomplete and guilty,
in the wake of every mother, in your wake,
motionless. They gather there, in your
weak hands. The apples of this market are death,
these poems retreat into their grammar,
in the hotel room, in the hut
of what does not join, souls without rest,
aged lips, bark ripped from the trunk.
They are dead. They gather there. They failed,
the operation failed, they failed.
The place was motionless, the word obscure. That was
the place we agreed on. Goodbye, memory of the sparkling
nights, goodbye, big smile, the place was there.
To breathe was a darkness shutters had made, a primitive state.
Silence and desert were switching positions and we
were talking to a lamp. The place was that one. The trolleys
rarely passed. Venus was returning to her hut.
Out of the warrior throat, episodes broke free. We didn’t
say anything more. The place was that one. It was there
that you were dying.
Professor Susan Stewart has published new bilingual translations of Italian poet Milo de Angelis (with Patrizio Ceccagnoli) at the University of Chicago Press: Theme of Farewell and After Poems, 2013.
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