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.

When They Told You and Other Poems— Francesco Tomada

Oct 31, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments




Italy (Is a Pomegranate Tree?)

In my life I have bought and transplanted one tree only
a pomegranate tree

I chose a spot in the orchard
from where you can see the cloister of mountains
from the San Gabriele to the Nanos
the ridge that was Italy once then Yugoslavia and then Slovenia
it was a land of pain and resentment

borders should be like horizons
when you move they move too
if you stop they stop with you
but they always make you feel in the exact center of the world

and homeland is where
a man plants a pomegranate tree
and can wait to eat its fruit

When They Told You

to N.C.

What a beautiful word nesting is – what a beautiful word: nesting
it gives the idea of returning to put down roots

“The cells have nested
on the upper wall of the liver
metastasizing from their pulmonary dwelling”

I keep these lines ten centimeters away from my heart
and try to understand
if they really are dedicated to me

it is not the first time that my poems
scare me as I reread them
they say what I was unknowingly holding up inside

but it was not me who wrote this one
and this is the hardest part


When the children were young
I absolutely loved taking them to the swings
hopping onto the one next to them
with the pretext of keeping them company
and swinging in that breathtaking way
when at the apex of your flight you drop to the ground
yet never touch it

now I don’t
I don’t have to take anyone anymore
but I have never taken apart the swings in the yard
I’m out of excuses
I’m not looking for excuses
let’s see if I’ve grown up enough
to face joy alone.


Also, read a book review of I’m Your Poet: Selected Poems   by Nilim Kumar  , reviewed by Aritra Sanyal, and published in The Antonym:

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Francesco Tomada

Francesco Tomada

Francesco Tomada was born in Udine. He studied biology and biochemistry in Trieste and now lives in Gorizia, where he works as a high school teacher. His poems have appeared in several literary magazines in Italy and abroad, and they’ve been translated into more than ten languages. His first book, L’infanzia vista da qui (Childhood as Seen from Here, 2005) won the Beppe Manfredi literary award for best Italian debut. He went on to author three more collections, the most recent of which is Affrontare la gioia da soli (Facing Joy Alone, 2021). In 2016, an anthology of Tomada’s poems was released in Bulgaria, with the title Questo è il mio tempo (This is My Time, translations by Aksinia Mihaylova and Emilia Mirazchiyska). In 2019, a bilingual book of poems, Non si può imporre il colore di una rosa (You Can’t Force a Color on a Rose) was published in Italy with Greek translations by Evangelia Polymou.

Anna Aresi

Anna Aresi

Anna Aresi is a US-based Italian translator and educator. She works with English, Italian, and Russian. She has translated into Italian poets such as Ewa Chrusciel, Forrest Gander, and Ilya Kaminsky, and into English poets such as Mariangela Gualtieri, Laura Corraducci, and Valerio Grutt. In 2021, she was among the winners of the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature & The Institute for Literary Translation “Writers of the Silver Age about War” translation contest, with a poem by Anna Akhmatova.


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