Dancing words from abroad

The alchemical magic of poetry

Poetry is writing that dances, a word that stings and transforms every poison, every emotion into a song, a cry, a mantra. The poem registers another breath that embodies and transfigures the image that moves inside. It is the internal voice that digs and from the well goes back to the light. Dimension that amplifies, strengthens, loses all boundaries. Every word, every syllable, can be a spiritual and perceptive, sensorial and mystical portal. Thus one seeks one’s own mother tongue, the sacred chant, a circular and shared transmission of an urgency for healing. Poetry as a widespread strategy for harm reduction. Thus our female genealogy emerges, an archipelago of shadows and lights. Empty and full coexist, where the questions get confused and the summary answers create other questions. Writing preserves the blood alchemical process that preceded us. Two thousand years of history and servitude ferment in the verses. Everywhere in the world, we have listened to our ancestors, the silenced and the rebels, the heretics and the servants, the angelic and the indomitable, the witches and the healers. This passes in the dream and in the arteries, in the bowels and in the mind and we write it down.

 

IT

Sono figlia del tiranno

del barbaro dell’uomo delle caverne

figlia della sua ira

dell’avida gola e lo slancio vitale

chiuso nell’alveo rosso dell’umore

stringe il polso

ferma il passo. Mi dispiace, Silvia Plath

il volto ancillare chino sul forno acceso

siamo figlie della distratta prepotenza dell’insana

distrazione, figlie del danno subito e poi taciuto

la mandorla acida laccio molesto siede sul cuore

il vertice ficcato nell’anima

chiodo e scure che taglia

squarcia il gesto alato.

Cammino con il mio fardello sulla schiena e

mai come oggi

il futuro e il sogno sono spille preziose sul mio petto.

 

EN

I am the daughter of the tyrant

of the caveman barbarian

daughter of his wrath

of the greedy throat and the vital impulse

closed in the red bed of mood

squeezes the wrist

stops the step. I’m sorry, Silvia Plath

the ancillary face bent over the lit oven

we are daughters of distracted arrogance

unhealthy distraction, daughters of the damage suffered and then kept silent the acid almond harassing lace sits on the heart

the vertex thrust into the soul

nail and ax that cuts

tears the winged gesture.

I walk with my burden on my back and never like today

the future and the dream are precious pins on my chest.

 

IT

Prima la casa

l’ordine immacolato delle stanze

la polvere sulle cose

ogni cosa al suo posto

inespugnabile vetrina: il focolare privata sindone

il cuore ha passi da gigante e fremiti d’ali

sono la vostra vestale senza voce ma è la voce che arde in petto e si infiamma

il tempo è un felino assonnato sul davanzale

tempo per tagliare il velo di pietra sul palmo della mano

preparo la cena, i miei piedi accanto al fuoco

la schiena arcuata della preda muta

mangio di corsa

le mani pronte a servire

le mani anticipano il bisogno appena accennato

mani veggenti dell’ospite

leggono il desiderio, la fame dei figlile mura sono l’abbraccio stretto:

la detenzione degli affetti

Sei nella mia reggia assolata

dorata prigione, esilio cancellato

stazione di passaggio

inattesa tana di sempre prima casa paterna ( poi maritale oikos)

taccio la mia esclusione a voi tutti: vi amo e vi odio

sono una candela che brucia e si consuma sulla vostra mano.

 

EN

First the house

the immaculate order of the rooms

the dust on things

everything in its place

impregnable showcase: the private hearth shroud

the heart has giant steps and quivering wings

I am your voiceless vestal but it is the voice that burns in my chest and ignites

time is a sleepy feline on the windowsill

time to cut the veil of stone on the palm of the hand

I prepare dinner, my feet by the fire

the arched back of the mute prey

I eat in a rush

my hands are ready to serve

my hands anticipate the need just mentioned clairvoyant hands of the guest

they read the desire, the hunger of the children

the walls are the tight embrace: the possession of affections.

You are in my sunny palace

golden prison, canceled exile

way station

unexpected den of always first paternal home (then marital oikos)

I keep my exclusion from you all: I love you and I hate you

I am a candle that burns and burns on your hand.

 

Texts written by me a few years ago in Femminile Singolare (Female Singular) published by Homo Scrivens 2016 are still current due to the dramatic situation that women in the East are experiencing. But we must not think of lowering attention either in Europe and in Italy, where the number of feminicides and cases of mistreatment and psychological dependence is still worrying. Sentimental education and emotional literacy are the only training strategies necessary to make emotional relationships healthy and balanced, based on real complicity. Women’s writing is one of the tools to denounce this delay.

IT

Io uccido il gendarme che mi ha invaso e fatto feroce nido in petto, brucia il desiderio in questo guscio di noce che si fa rara premura dell’ospite inatteso

amore si dice e chiama il mio nuovo nome

nell’abbraccio indiviso mi ritrovo

accigliato arciere nel canto sfrenato che danza

stringo, nel pugno infermo,

scaglie di questa notte d’inverno che gela

straccio il telo che ci separa, l’arsenale arrugginito

di scuse e dettagli, solide le sbarre

di questo recinto che non ci contiene più

afferro il rasoio delle offese

delizia acerba e peccato

liturgia nascosta, mito inviso

impronta digitale, indelebile gesto polvere di un altrove che esploro

nessuno vuole capire e mi danno per questo

mi arrampico sugli specchi, sono un insetto

divento sfinge solitaria e muta di un giardino di stoppie che crepitano inquiete e fanno quieto rogo nella mia anima

io uccido la vestale dei focolari

non resterò a guardare il buio

tendo la mano verso il corpo assopito che trema

io uccido la santa

che conosce il confine sacro tra il bene e il male

salva il tempio creaturale del verbo unico

chiude porte e finestre, indugia sulla preda prima che sfugga

ratifica il silenzio sterile dell’eremo

lì non respiro e perdo sostanza

sono ormai essere in penombra non toccato da allegria

sono sensibile alle foglie

affondo le mani fino ai gomiti

nel letto del fiume che scorre

in cerca di indizi e tracce nascoste

ogni giorno precipita il mio corpo lavico e ogni giorno mi salva l’amore.

 

EN

I kill the gendarme who has invaded me and made a ferocious nest in my chest,

burns desire in this nutshell that takes rare care

of the unexpected guest

love is said and calls my new name

in the undivided embrace I find myself

frowning archer in the unbridled singing that dances I squeeze, in my sick fist,

scales of this winter night that freezes

I tear the cloth that separates us, the rusty arsenal

of excuses and details, solid the bars

of this fence that no longer contains us

I grab the razor of offenses

unripe delight and sin

hidden liturgy, unpopular myth

fingerprint, indelible dust gesture of an elsewhere that I explore

nobody wants to understand and I am damned for that

I climb mirrors, I’m an insect

I become a solitary and mute sphinx in a garden of stubble that restlessly crackle and make a quiet fire in my soul

I kill the vestal of the hearths

I won’t stay to watch the dark

I reach out my hand towards the dozing body that trembles

I kill the saint

who knows the sacred boundary between good and evil

she saves the creaturely temple of the single verb

she closes doors and windows, lingers on her prey before she escapes

ratifies the sterile silence of the hermitage

there I can’t breathe and I lose substance

I’m now being in dim light untouched by mirth

I’m sensitive to leaves

I sink my hands up to my elbows

in the bed of the flowing river

in search of clues and hidden traces

every day my lava body falls and every day love saves me.

 

This text that I care a lot about, in Cambio di Stagione (Change of Season) published by Oedipus in 2019, refers not to an autobiographical self but starts from a plural and epic self, an archetypal subjectivity where every woman can recognize herself. The first internal enemy, the hidden saboteur, is precisely the script of the saint, the angel of the hearth, the sentinel who always saves her king and her castle. Every woman knows that she must fight her own battles first of all within herself, to become aware of her rights as a person, as Virginia Woolf already wrote. This text that I care a lot about, in Cambio di Stagione (Change of Season) published by Oedipus in 2019, refers not to an autobiographical self but starts from a plural and epic self, an archetypal subjectivity where every woman can recognize herself. The first internal enemy, the hidden saboteur, is precisely the script of the saint, the angel of the hearth, the sentinel who always saves her king and her castle. Every woman knows that she must fight her own battles first of all within herself, to become aware of her rights as a person of hers, as Virginia Woolf already wrote. The dress of complacency and submissiveness makes the woman enslaved to the patriarchal logic, which wants the above all psychological cancellation of her needs and her rights, to found society on the all-encompassing service of the woman to her biological destiny as mother and wife. The historical rebellion against this founding archetype, initiated by feminists in the last decades of the nineteenth century and carried forward throughout the twentieth century by artists, journalists and writers such as Beatrice Hastings, Elsa Morante, Goliarda Sapienza, Nilde Iotti and many others, has not yet finished. The co-responsible complementarity of parenthood must be achieved in the construction of welfare services and opportunities to support not the woman but the couple, while raising children. Women’s writing records the state of things, broadens sensitivity towards still unresolved issues.

I conclude with a text taken from my latest collection of poetic prose, La Vertigine del Taglio (The Vertigo of Cutting) published by Terra di Ulivi in 2022, dedicated to women who suffer violence, where the two subjectivities intertwine and hurt each other in a perverse dance. Getting out of every addiction, recovering the freedom to choose and choose beyond any perpetrator, overcoming the sick adherence to the role of victim and savior is the only way out to love and be loved in freedom, respect, tenderness .

Dancing words from abroad. The alchemical magic of poetry

IT

Sento la voce, la sua voce, sale forte il brivido delle minacce. L’adrenalina nel sangue. Esplode come tuono tra la cucina e le stanze, nel corridoio macchiato di ombre. Tu sei qui, il violento, il cattivo compagno il padre e il fratello, Caino e i barbari, il re romano che incendia, il norvegese che saccheggia, l’arabo che umilia, la mano che accarezza e affama, sprango la porta e chiudo la tua bocca, mi hai voluto così e poi mi hai respinto, non puoi, senti la mia voce nella tua voce, un tamburo che batte, un fragore, la tua distrazione. Cosa vuoi da me? Tu sei la mia donna, la madre dei miei figli, il mio campo di battaglia ora e sempre, la tana morbida dove affondo il coltello, la pianura dove ficcare l’albero maestro, della rabbia mai spenta, lo specchio per riflettermi, chiunque io sia, scrivo io la parola fine, sul tuo corpo zitto che muore.

EN

I hear the voice, his voice, the thrill of threats rises strongly. Adrenaline in the blood. It explodes like thunder between the kitchen and the rooms, in the hallway stained with shadows.You are here, the violent, the bad companion, the father and the brother, Cain and the barbarians, the Roman king who sets fire, the Norwegian who plunders, the Arab who humiliates, the hand that caresses and starves, I bolt the door and close the your mouth, you wanted me like this and then you rejected me, you can’t, hear my voice in your voice, a drum beating, a roar, your distraction.What do you want from me? You are my woman, the mother of my children, my battlefield now and always, the soft den where I plunge the knife, the plain where to stick the mainmast, of never extinguished anger, the mirror to reflect myself, whoever I am, I write the final word, on your silent body that dies.

Floriana Coppola

Follow Floriana

 

Floriana Coppola photo bioAbout the author

Floriana Coppola, (1961) Neapolitan writer and poet, professor of literature in higher studies, professional counselor in Transactional Analysis and Existential Psychology, collaborates as a literary critic in various online magazines and as editor of the online literary magazine Menabò. In 2005 you published the poetic sylloge Il trono dei Mirti (The throne of the myrtles), published by Melagrana onlus; in 2012 she published the poetic collection Sono Nata Donna (I was born a woman), Boopen Led / Photocity, in 2012 she published the novel Vico Ultimo della Sorgente (Last alley of the source) published by Homo Scrivens and the poetic collection Mancina nello Sguardo (Left-handed in the look) publicshed by La Vita Felice. She is present in various Italian poetic anthologies. In 2014 La Vita Felice published the novel Donna Creola e gli angeli del cortile (Donna Creola and the angels of the courtyard). In 2016, Homo Scrivens published the anthology of short stories and poems Femminile Singolare (Feminine singular). In 2017 was released the collection of poems Cambio di stagione e altre mutazioni poetiche (Change of season and other poetic mutations) published by Oedipus. In 2019 she published the anthology La faglia del fuoco (The fault of fire), with engravings by Aniello Scotto, published by Il Laboratorio. Also in 2019 the novel Aula voliera (Aviary classroom) was published by Oedipus editions. In 2021 she publishes the poetic prose book La vertigine del taglio (The vertigo of cutting) published by Terra di Ulivi. In 2022 it was released her fourth novel La bambina, il carro e la stella, (The little girl, the cart and the star)by Terra di Ulivi.