Corso Italia 7

Rivista internazionale di Letteratura – International Journal of Literature
Diretta da Daniela Marcheschi

To Ariel

Daniela Marcheschi

To Ariel

(Letter. Postscript. Farewell)

[di Alberto Guareschi]


Ariel, to tell you everything,

this was the project:

to draw up the chronicles

and let you know (at every step

I thought about the words,

they were like kites

facing sudden disappearance

into the ocean) –

always beginning all over again,

never carrying on,

years squandered in gazing

at passing clouds,

moon phases

(from hotel rooms

postcards to friends,

readings of Li Po and other masters) –

collected as time passed

earth maps, notes

for tomorrow, sheets

covered with signs,

boxes full of puzzles

and threads to be unraveled

for the final canvas (as a child

I listened to my mother

intent on her chrochet:

she alone could untie

certain tangles) –

had I been able, at least,

to commit messages

with fragments of the plot

to carrier-pigeons,

whereas I lost the thread,

Ariel my dear,

zigzag with my nose

from one dream to the other

(feeling as walking

pendulum-wise like that funny

Monsieur Hulot on holiday

seen in the movie) –


Total serenity

of dreamed landscapes,

the fantasy at full speed

on flying carpets,

with new territories to explore

in space and time

(omnipresent the flow of the Notturni,

that “small hand”

free from any force of gravity) –

all as foretold

by Arianna’s tarots:

contemplation and Tao,

imagination only,

no action, no doing –

a project diluted along the branches

and the too many branches of branches,

never safe landing-places,

sure passages

uncorrupted by doubt,

between enchanted gardens

and the crash of all chimeras:

always and everywhere

just ink stains only,

no picture

(stretching my fingers out

I had the impression

of playing with soap bubbles:

at sunrise everything disappeared,

farewell you beautiful,

variegated butterflies,

light ideograms,

puppets and theatres)


Flying carpets confined

in the oblivion room of previous life,

now departure to lands

void of moon phases and seasons,

night day and dusk

all the very same thing –

impossible to foretell other letters,

messages from silence,

from when and where

(in Song from the O-mei, between other lines,

I read: “Boarded in the evening

from the jetty at Ching-chi

bound to the Three Gorges.

Thinking of you far from my eyes now

I go down to Yu-chow…”) –

a thin slip of sand behind me,

North Star high on the line

of the horizon –

Alberto Guareschi (Parma, 1940) lives in Lucca since almost forty years. As an executive and then director of some state and private industrial groups he has travelled extensively, not only for professional reasons, in various countries and continents, thus enriching the range of his cultural experiences and interests. In 1976 he was among the founders of Pratiche Editrice, a member of its literary board and CEO. As an author he has published three books of poetry: Verso Cipro(Guanda, 1963), Teatrini del signor Egli (Diabasis, 2004, with an introduction by Roberto Carifi) and Stella polare (Passigli, 2016) where the poems in this issue are included. Notable his activity as an editor and translator, particularly for Guanda that published in 1989 the first Italian edition of the German classic by J. P. Hebel, Tesoretto dell’Amico di casa renano. Guanda published also his selection of F. Hoelderlin’s poetry, L’arcipelago e altre poesie (1965), the translation of Nietzsche’s Ditirambi di Dioniso (1967) and of Hermann Hesse’s novels Nel chiosco di Pressel (introduction by G. Zampa) and Giorni di luglio (1990). By Tony Duvert he has translated Récidive (foreword by Guido D. Bonino, Pratiche Editrice, 1978) and Quando morì Jonathan (Savelli, 1981). Other poetry translations (from Georges Bataille, Sarah Kirsch and H. M. Enzensberger) appeared in the Eighties on “Il Raccoglitore”, bi-monthly cultural magazine of Gazzetta di Parma, and on “Rassegna Lucchese”. In 2008 Diabasis published, based on his project and edited by A. Niero, Balcony and other poems (with an introductory essay by Iosip Brodskij) of the Russian poet and friend Evgenij Rejn.

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