Antonino Caponnetto

Antonino Caponnetto


Antonino Caponnetto was born in 1950 in Catania (Italy), where he lived – except for a brief period in Rome – until 1980. Since 1981 he lives in Mantua.
Poems Collections:Forme del mutamento (Campanotto Editore, Udine, 1998). Lacolpa del re (Campanotto Editore, Udine, 2002). Miti per l’uomo solo(Edizioni Kolibris, Bologna, 2009. 2nd Edition 2010).Agonie della luce – Poesie 2012-2015 (Associazione Culturale Pellicano, Roma, 2015).
Translation from Spanish:Fernando Rendón, Qual era la domanda?(Poesie 1986-2016), Associazione culturale Pellicano, Roma, 2016.
With the Cultural Association “Pellicano” he’sworkingas the editor of the internationalpoeticseries “Poetry by the Planet.”
He was a guest of some poeticfestivals, suchasSirmio, Virgilio or “Ottobre in Poesia” International PoetryFestivals.
Some of hispoemswereradioed, othersappeared on magazines and anthologies – for exampleSignorNò, I dialetti nelle valli del mondo, (2016) and LiberAzionepoEtica (2017) all by A. C. Pellicano, Roma, or No Resignación (Poetas del mundo por la no violencia
contra la mujer). “Antología de Salamanca, Ayuntamiento de Salamanca” (ES), 2016. Some of hispoetictexts or interviews can be read online. Several are hiscriticalcontributions, oftenin
the form of prefaces or afterwords to the works of young or wellknownpoets.
By Edizioni del Trito & Ritrito from Pieve S. Polo in Capannori, Lucca, fourplaquetteshaveappeared (in alimitednumber of copies for the Author’s friends): A che serve?(2001), Le chiare strade (2002), Contromovenze (2003) and Petits cahiers pour la douleurdupauvre (2005).
In afewdayshislatest book of poems with translationinto English – Il sogno necessario / The NecessaryDream, Pellicano, 2017 -will be available to readers.

1.A Year Before The Great War

A year before the Great War
you are already the brothel’s mistress
between rue de Babylone and rue Vaneau

And your daughter is with you, the most beautiful
harlot of the House – many
bring her necklaces and roses as present

In the waiting room groups
of influential people, shrewd businessmen
Downstairs at the door long lines
of clowns, exiles, rogues, madmen, artists

Now again your country still
wages war to miserable people
effacing their soul and life
so that, elsewhere, an Eldorado may rise

Not there, where any beautiful
harlot may break the mechanism down

2. If I Still Miss Something Of You

If I still miss something of you
it is your stuffed koala on my heart

If I’m not your Sherpa, go look
for me without me on the snowfields

If you don’t feel me close to you tomorrow,
let the chrysanthemum shed its leaves

If faceless people join the parade,
don’t follow their footprints and folly

3. Bedecked In Merry Masks

Bedecked in merry masks
the Great Arrogant moves forward. He takes seat
among the worse operators. He comes to give
the long awaited lectiomagistralis.
His Machiavellanism is brute and shrewd.
It smells of blood, death, torment.
Of unfathomable, secret violence.

There’s maybe who believes that, for this reason,
midnight’s black cloak
may finely-mesh up our alive
by chance bodies?

“Darker than midnight can’t come!”
That’s what we say where day by day
my mother tongue is spoken.

Is it the young people’s turn
to light a fire amidst the dark?

Yes! But as elders it is our
responsibility to teach them how to well.

To enlighten the unseen
To equip oneself with batteries, oil lamps
led lanterns torches lights.

To make light in this midnight,
so that the new day despite the blows,
the wounds, the dead, may not come.

Later, only later
will we be able to rest.

4. First Memory: The Sky’s Light Blue

First memory: the sky’s light blue.
Then many faces with a friendly look,
faces tanned by the sun, smile at the child.

Childhood and youth, eternal time
of my ancient land and of an enormous,
borderless at that time, summer.

In the orange grove, I touched lightly
the shimmering, green leaves.
I bear in me that locked away
summer in my life.

Other summers, other places and battles
to be aware of myself among others.
But my staying in the world
is in that eternal summer.

In the colors of the sea, deep chasm swallowing
as a ravenous ogre the bodies of the runaways,
in the colors of the sky lies that eternal

summer, only as the soul’s peace is
for those who die by water.
In the light that blinds
the pupil of the alive.

5. Along The Thin Banks Of Ditches

Along the thin banks of ditches
runs the road’s asphalt strip
heading to the main square

in the middle of the garrisoned square
stands the blind multitude of economists
apathetic to suicides and desperation

in a very large circle lined-up
ready for the desperate event

Heart of the green field.
An old man reads Hesse’s
“Krisis.” He has my face.

Distracted by the wind,
you don’t notice it, you leave.

Disagreement of paths.
Unknown road.

In the coming and going of a busy crowd
You immerse yourself till you’re lost.

you will say that so much growing up
no one can ignore.

As a pain unscathed by morphine
space turns enormous,
the void between us,

whereas far away, towards South
the eye of the sun
watches the hawk descend on the prey.

6. Salt In The Open

Salt in the open
wound burns like
the fire of passion.

Rivers of my summers
and wreaths of white
flowers over the waters.
On boats
young bride and groom and loud voices.

I turn away from all this.
shall I seek you?
On the other side of the steep, snowy
mountains that I crossed once
with you, more people lie in wait,

brothers one to the other, I shall
kiss them on the forehead as future sons,
Then we shall have tea and talk for a long time.

We shall plan a new trip together.
My last one, I believe.
I shall leave again,
with the certainty that my life
and liberty’s motives live in them.

7.I’ll Take You With As In The Past

I’ll take you with as in the past
when in the chaos of enormous
rivers of people fleeing eternally
I would hide you from the indiscreet gaze
of whistleblowers with my coat

I’ve kissed the land on which we
disembarked love like all the
cheaters of death
as those who know for real that the
shipwreck changes the little life we are left with.

An always new fire will burn
in some hearts beyond ours
and you love shall live in all those
that without country nor flag
tell the demons of nothing: you are not!

8. Rise, Son, It’s Daytime

Rise, son, it’s daytime

See? The future is right here and now
You are alive, free
and you’ll die as the poet says
of life and not of time

so wear sturdy shoes
welcome in your bag
the little you will need
it’s time to leave

Let’s go, let’s go, son

Translations by Alessandra Bava

Caponnetto & Arrabal