Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.


Oct 30, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Italian by Susanna Ghazvinizadeh


Image Used For Representation



The afternoon went down
like an axe on the back of our necks
we had eaten without being hungry
everything was temporary, we felt ill at ease
our stomach was as full as a delivered speech
our trip back home on the train felt like a tight dress
that’s what I called literature
stale cream seemed airy to me

I’m tired’ is the first thing I think about
but I never say it
with their hands on their temples
mothers stop the hoods of their druid kids after swimming
while the sobs of the younger siblings
climb the stairs before the tears
every word is a collected work

It’s been a long time since I sat
next to the dark innkeeper
stuffed, throwing out my breath
all of a sudden, like a sperm whale
letting my fatigue speak
she says ‘you know everything, they don’t understand’
Since I sit like a cadet
at the new café doing the countdown
exhaustion doesn’t speak
negligence speaks
and if it’s silent
the one who talks is fear

It was a crib of sleep for the man of autumn
the foot in leather, the belly in cottonwool
the lips to the pomegranate, the hands of nettle
that’s life says the empty belly
to the girl who was never born

There was a masked child for Carnival
and children at Carnival are a sorry sight
lost in their thoughts and parading for the gold rush
when you sleepwalk you travel down memory lane
while disrobing them their mothers will find confetti
on their bird chests
they had dressed them up as masks of the commedia dell’arte
with the Napoleon hat
that’s how it is, all of their life
the treasure hunt

When you’re a child you participate in the treasure hunt listlessly
open eyed we win
open eyed we wait alone to get our prize
we believe in what happens
only when nothing happens
we get old on the rusty merry go round
life as a memo
poetry to complain about life

I remember the acephalous afternoons
when the foot similar to bread to milk
steps on the wooden floor
just like a child who holds his breath inside the closet, the thought evaporates

Then I must feel the pain
that people feel in front of a colorless slide
only in our lost time do we feel joy
always in joy do we live pain

I expected this horse chestnut tree yard to be demolished
just like I expected to die young

Here I am
back there with the teachers
moving the benches in the woodshed
and over there
my other self is throwing up
he’s killing himself for an obsession
for self loathing, just like a scorpion
A newborn in the early afternoon
smoke of a coffee pot, of a woman ironing
The sea like a pot of pasta
that fills the wall with smoke

To abandon unhappiness
means to spread our school friends along the way
to speak the grown up language to a child
That’s it, I want to hit myself to death
and to tell myself out loud
the reasons of the death sentence

Also, read Above The Bell and Other Poems by Ivan Djeparoski, translated from the Macedonian by Zoran Anchevski and published in The Antonym:

Above The Bell and Other Poems— Ivan Djeparoski

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Nader Ghazvinizadeh

Nader Ghazvinizadeh

Nader Ghazvinizadeh was born in Italy in 1977 from an Iranian father and an Italian mother. He has published the books of poetry “Arte di fare il bagno” and “Metropoli“; the short story books “I Cosmonauti” and “Addio Vint”. He has written essays about urban ethnology (“La città disincantata”) and about Soccer (“Valery Lobanovski: the Colonnello” and “Socrates and la dittatura della telecronaca”). He has worked as a journalist for the radio and for newspapers. He currently teaches at the Primo Levi University and Kinder College in Bologna. He teaches Humanities and holds written workshops in the public schools of Bologna.

Susanna Ghazvinizadeh 

Susanna Ghazvinizadeh 

Susanna Ghazvinizadeh is half Italian and half Iranian. She graduated in English Literature at the University of Bologna. She was awarded a PhD degree in Postcolonial Literature from the University of Bologna and from York University in Toronto. She teaches English and Art History at a Swiss school in Bologna. She also teaches French at the Primo Levi University in Bologna.


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