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To watch this dark

                            Federico Federici

Words are but this, if incarnation seeks the ancient inspiration it swallowed in the tangle of nerves and blood and bones which the text is made of. Can Life have many incarnations at the same time, like one in many different ones? What is thus left to do if poetry comes with many a root out of the rocks and seeds, breaking the compulsion of innumerable things, under many languages? It’s neither a matter of some part and its counterparts. Nor a fact of sheer imitations, reckless variations, obvious transliteration, sharp nails digging up in search of some deeper tone. Is it worth trying to sink images on the rear dull side of a mirror? What delights in that, not yet descended onto the page?

Here is rather a closest encounter with the many bodies longing for one more body.
«My poems are different from Indian poets’ too, as I write in isolation, so I write what I feel in me – not impressed by contemporary Hindi poetry. That is why your understanding will be good for my poems, they may get a new dimension, see, translation can give a new life to poetry, as when you are taking my poems to Italian readers, they may be talking in new a language, their expression may get a new life. So, do not worry, just ask me if there is any cultural difference or some confusion.» (excerpt from a letter of Rati Saxena)

Assume that you may have now to deal like with a couple of twins: you ask the first and listen to the other answer. So, who is who? They both resemble some truth and seem to attain it at once. Which text brings instead the original inspiration and which gives it back as a minor, rough, borrowed tone of it?
Words, draping all things together under a new whiteness, in-shape the world, though deeply along the thread of Fate, maintain and protect their good conduct to the ripest experiences of life. «Before your arrivgro
wth and death, is all at once revealed within the eternal enmeshment of spirit and matter, among the planes of heaven, and then «Try talking / everything will come again / flesh, bones and tongue / and sound too». All those bodies are one and only shelter built for Life: «everyone has to make his place / by cutting the hardness without teeth».

As much as the perfect singularity of inspiration resists translation and against the multiplicity of the tensions, the sometimes laborious inventions to create “the” purest language from the one soaked in the other many languages, you need to abandon any strict grammar register, the clean, easy line of the basic structures combination and risk re-writing.
Metaphors are the brown curses of bones, the black branch, after some delight of imagination.

All of one life you read certain verses and write others, but you do as if you had nothing to read, nothing to write, as if you had already heard all the music pause in silence.
New signs swarms instead on your body: you head for the endpoint and gauge you are too heavy, too tall or too thick to pass through. Something must be left behind, thousands of year old.
Let the verses become the awaited guest inside you, beneath the stream of sounds and ideograms, out of the same sheet of music, vibrating on different strings, swallowed by black resonance boxes. Then you cross the thick forest dwelling on their symbols, interpret the thumb on the lips of the child, «While passing through a strange dream / crossing the way full of thorny bushes».

Arms, legs, beaks, feet, wings, fingers, trunks, boughs, roots, rats, worms, moths: not mute parts of a common scene, where the poem is spoken, mouldered, spread out of randomness. They are bred out of Love. All celebrate incarnation. These ones are all bare skin covering the same underlying bones, swinging between the different stages of time: late age and youth, not other than two clearer turns of the same wheel, of the turning world, nodding at any new turn. «Father loved this saying: /“When an ant dies, it grows wings” / He said this whenever our dreams / seemed ready to take–off».
Nothing thus ever comes to a polluted end, fearful, finally accepted as a relief from pain. «In the dark fearful jungle / atop the thorns / a beautiful dream blossoms».

Death is holy, quietly welcomed when it is time, like a guest you took all life to get acquainted with. It establishes itself as a quality which requires some effort, not a violent, enraged, disposal of nature «On the earth / I started decaying / earthworm was also there / where I fall».
The scriptures encourage a joyous release to the heaven worlds. Ashes and remains collected on a tray, white fragments of bones – flowers – the water sprinkled over.
Then it comes with no disbelief, exhuming spirit from its old skinned-shape, like the fragrant secretion from the dried flower, an outer dream, an enlarging bark ring «[...] as soon as I open my mouth, / my dream slips out / and hangs on a branch like a ghoul. // My very own dream, now outside the window. / while I’m inside».

Grafted beyond the window, all trees invite the dead under their green spine to take a seat alone and watch the dark.

A Short Note on Rati Saxena's poems by Federico Federici


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