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.

The Plimsoll Line— Fabiano Alborghetti

Apr 30, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY CRISTINA VITI

The Plimsoll Line Italian poem

Image used for representation

 

Krauses’ Corpuscles

THE PLIMSOLL LINE

*

 

So many new words have been learnt

complicated words

clustered beyond the door, lying in ambush. 

And ambush has its own gaze:

it threatens, usurps, above all it persists

       not knowing silence.

The din of data, the ups and downs, thresholds

          the Excel spreadsheets , exact data 

          sensations, suspensions

bodies named as the count progresses.

Where is the count at?  

 

*

 

The parting forms new tribes: 

the careless, the unaware, the healthy, the sly

those who take care of the agony of others…

If you’re still scared when you wake up

        take my hand again. 

Do your fingers still remember me? 

 

*

 

Careless, the night baptizes some

 offering an imprint to their foreheads

                 and they’re the disappeared. 

 Others are waiting, others denying, others pretending

        that nothing ever happens. 

 Others despair, others look for love ties,

 find them anew. 

 Who is the one you’d want to call by name,

 feel close to you?  

 

*

 

The gap between beauty and unbalance:

there is no forecast

for this or for the weariness, the dryness

of gestures in the impossibility of doing otherwise

but believe me: no one accustoms to being apart

and that’s why we’ve trained our gaze.

To see further beyond. 

And there’s so much that’s worth the effort 

despite the attrition… We need distance

I know: now everything’s so exceedingly close

and some repeat there’s nothing but ruins

debris and ruins. But look closer: 

what do you see? 

 

*

 

No, we won’t be just bodies riddled with absence

but a range of miracles.

Feel how long the world endures inside you. 

And tell me: 

where shall we begin? 


Notes:

The Plimsoll Line (also known as The eye of Plimsoll) is a conventional mark on the sides of merchant ships indicating the position of the waterline corresponding to the maximum permissible load.

By metaphorical extension, the suite of 12 texts addresses the year of the pandemic (which began in March 2020) and the moral, physical and social burdens that have impacted society and individuals. 

Each text ends with a question: not addressed to the present but to the future.

The Plimsoll Line is a short kernel written upon invitation of the Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel ) and related to the project “Wake-up! Diplomacy Towards a Healthy Future” .

 


Also, read Someone Else’s Cinderella by Sonja Veselinović, translated from the Serbian by Marija Bergam Pellicani and published in The Antonym:

Someone Else’s Cinderella— Sonja Veselinović


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Fabiano Alborghetti

Fabiano Alborghetti

Fabiano Alborghetti is an award-winning Swiss poet, editor, and cultural promoter, and author of five books of poetry which have been translated into over ten languages. He has collaborated with many European publishing houses, promoting translation projects of Swiss and Italian poets, and translating from other idioms into Italian. Artistic director and president of the Literature House based in Lugano, he is currently a member of the scientific board of the Chiassoletteraria Festival, and Editor in-Chief of the Poetry Series for the Swiss-based publishing house Gabriele Capelli Editore. His newest work is the poetry collection Corpuscoli di Krause (GCE Gabriele Capelli Editore, 2022). He officially represents Ticino, Switzerland and the Italian language in festivals across the world. He writes in Italian and lives in Ticino, Switzerland. www.fabianoalorghetti.ch 

 

Cristina Viti

Cristina Viti

Cristina Viti is a translator and poet working with Italian, English and French. Recent publications include a translation of some of Furio Jesi’s essays on the perception of time in situations of revolt & revolution (Time & Festivity, Seagull Books 2021) and a collaborative translation, with Souheila Haïmiche, of the work of French Algerian militant poet Anna Gréki (The Streets of Algiers, Smokestack Books 2020). Her translation of Elsa Morante’s The World Saved by Kids (Seagull Books 2016) was shortlisted for the John Florio Prize. 

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