Swiss-Italian poetry by Alberto Nessi and Giorgio Orelli. Cat and pouring rains!

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Photo: Lambert Wolterbeek Muller, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Italian poetry by Alberto Nessi and Giorgio Orelli. Peta italiano

Two poems for the cat by Alberto Nessi.

The Disappearance

Little is left from her life: the the wall boards
scratched by her claws, her ghost that visits us
every night when we think we spot her in the geraniums, the stories
of her adventures among the cacti
pirouetting, pouncing, dancing with the flies
the rivalry with the other cats we’d shoo away
as if she was of a higher feline race
and not a just a gentle moggie. Only traces and ghosts
of life remain
A cat like her
someone has poisoned her on purpose
or some peasant skinned and ate her —
but what if she ran away from home, a young girl looking for love
and what if we saw her again tomorrow, standing still
in the middle of the patio
protecting our equally precarious lives?

[…cat returns…]

“due poesie per la gatta La scomparsa della sua vita è rimasto poco: il pannello di pavatex graffiato dalle…”

In autumn by Giorgio Orelli.

Catlike in the salamander’s
slimy yellow
between the hedge and the tarmac: I didn’t even
see the face of the boy who
almost ran over me at the bend with his bike.
The rain was hosing down sideways
so much that it darkened the mood of the cows
near the high school:
in groups, dazed,
they forsook the grass,
and lowed miserably at the sky.

(Outlines, 1989)

D’autunno

Felinamente in giallo
viscido di salamandra
tra siepe e asfalto: neanche la faccia
gli ho visto al ragazzo che in bici
quasi m’investe allo svolto.
Tanto fitto pioveva e di traverso
che alle vacche vicino al liceo
l’anima s’annegrava:
in gruppo, stralunate,
disprezzavano l’erba,
mute muggivano al cielo.

(Spiracoli, 1989)

“Poetry Editor’s note: Contrappasso bids a sad farewell to Giorgio Orelli, who passed away […] at the age of 92. Below are the five poems of Orelli’s that appeared in Issue 3, translated by Marco Sonzogni.”

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