Altra arte poetica

Franco Fortini


Esiste, nella poesia, una possibilità

che, se una volta ha ferito

chi la scrive o la legge, non darà

più requie, come un motivo

semi modulato semi tradito

può tormentare una memoria. E io che scrivo

so ch’è un senso diverso

che può darsi all’identico,

so che qui ferma dentro il verso resta

la parola che senti o leggi

e insieme vola via

dove tu non sei più, dove neppure

pensi di poter giungere, e cominciano

altre montagne, invece, pianura ansiose, fiumi

come hai visti viaggiando dagli aerei tremanti,

città impetuose qui, sotto le immobili

parole scritte tue.



Another poetic art

Franco Fortini


There exists, in poetry, the possibility

that, if ever it troubled any

one who wrote or read it, no longer

could peace be had, like a melody

partly modulated partly revealed

can torment a memory. And I who write

know that a different sense

can be given to one identical,

I know that here within the verse lingers

the word you hear or read

and at the same time it flies off

to where you no longer are, a place

you can’t imagine reaching, and where,

instead, other mountains rise, anxious leas, rivers

you’ve seen when travelling in shaky airplanes,

impetuous cities here, under the immobile

words written yours.



Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Franco Fortini (Franco Lattes) was born in Florence in 1917. He was a poet, translator, editor, journalist and professor. The poem Altra arte poetica is part of the collection Poesia e errori, first published by Feltrinelli in 1959.

About the poems G. Titta Rosa stated: “The collection by Franco Fortini, Poesia e errori, is a demonstration that not only has the distinction that once existed between poetry and non-poetry been confused, blurring confines and territories, but also the distinction between the abstract word and the concrete one, or more precisely the one between reason and fantasy. And in this osmosis we are far from the symbolistic realms of “pure poetry” and hermeticism. In Fortini’s poetry a limpid and oftentimes ruthless light of reason invests ideas and images, discourses and figures.” Almanacco Bompiani, 1960.

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