In this first US publication of celebrated Italian poet Bianca Tarozzi, narrative poems (presented bilingually in both English and the original Italian) carry us through the poet's childhood memories of World War II under Mussolini, harsh post-war conditions, and mid-century changes that transformed Italian life, specifically for women. A unique figure in contemporary Italian poetry, Tarozzi draws significant influence from acclaimed American poetsRobert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merrillinterweaving powerful subjects with humor and heart.
you have packed the suitcase, shut off the gas,
turned all the lights out, locked the window
and the big outside door,
when you lean against a wall, afraid of falling,
and wait, expecting the vehicle,
the means that will transport you
when the sky sails clear,
blue, and annihilating above the overpass,
and you have no past or future,
in that empty moment
poetry pitches its tent.
Bianca Tarozzi was born in Bologna in 1941. Her father was a political prisoner under Mussolini, and then a Senator after the war. She received a degree from Ca' Foscari University of Venice, and taught English and American Literature for many years at the University of Verona. The recipient of numerous literary honors, she has translated into Italian the works of Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, James Merrill, Richard Wilbur, A. E. Housman, Denise Levertov, and Louise Gluck. Also the author of many books of poetry, she began writing poems in 1947, and continues to this day. She currently splits her time between Venice and Milan, Italy.