TWO POEMS by Stefano d’Arrigo trans. Joe Gross
WHEN MEEK & THUNDEROUS
When meek & thunderous
spring makes its mooring
& the heart wanes in wax,
flit from fin to wing
of migrant fish & birds
wearing whispers of your name;
we imagine you, because it’s true,
your destination, too, is mystery.
OH IN ITALY A MEMORY
Oh in Italy a memory of the women
who turtledove-strut the windowsills
suddenly thresh their thighs
pulverizing poppies in secret
red petals of their Saracen dresses
fluttering like lustful oriflamme
in defense of the footsteps scrawled
over the island’s wind-worn cobbles.
Stefano D’Arrigo (b. 1919, d. 1992) was born and raised in Alì Terme, Messina, Sicily, but lived and worked in Rome as an art critic much of his life. He is the author of the poetry collection Codice siciliano (Sicilian Code, 1957), the epic Horcynus Orca (1975), the novella Cima delle nobildonne (Noblest of Noblewomen, 1985), and Il licantropo e altre prose inedite (The Lycanthrope and Other Unedited Prose, 2010), and played a minor role in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1961 directorial debut, Accattone.