The Still Flight
Selected and Unpublished Poems and Proses 1978 2017
Translated by Vittoria Armanini
264 pages, $20
Cover photo: "Venezia, 1960"
by Gianni Berengo Gardin
Author Biography | Read Selection
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About the author:
CLAUDIO BORGHI is a poet and a physicist. He graduated from the University of Bologna and teaches mathematics and physics in his hometown of Mantua. He has published articles on theoretical physics and epistemology in international journals, and two essays about time: "Dagli orologi al tempo" / "From Clocks to Time" and "Il tempo generato dagli orologi" / "Time Generated by Clocks," both in Mimesis (2018). He has published three books of poetry in Italy: Dentro la sfera / Within the Sphere (Effigie, 2014), La trama vivente / The Living Weft (Effigie, 2016) and L'anima sinfonica / The Symphonic Soul (Negretto, 2017). The Still Flight presents selections from these three volumes, plus some recent unpublished pieces: "Sogno e tempo" / "Dream and Time." It is his first collection in English.
Borghi gives this clue to his perspective: "I have always felt poetry in verse or prose, lyrical or philosophical, impressionistic or narrative, as a musical movement or a timeless painting, in which the self, or the soul - I do not know what name to give the being in the world - looks for a possible reboot, as if time could reset, history could start again from the beginning."
About the translator:
VITTORIA ARMANINI is a translator and interpreter currently living in Belfast, Ireland. Born in Mantua, Italy, she has done a lot of freelance work, including the editing of two books about her city: Mantua, From Place to Location and Painting in Mantua from the 13th to the 19th Century, with texts by Claudio Fraccari. She has worked for various institutions, including the Venice Film Festival. Some years ago she taught English in France and Russia. More recently, she helped prepare an Italian translation of Shakespeare's Macbeth for theatrical performance.
"A poet of original personality whose poetic work provides the interaction between visionary energy and force of thought." ~ Maurizio Cucchi
"Your writing has the peculiar brightness, beyond the full comprehension of the text, that seems to belong to scientific prose... You have precisely that spark of light, which is yours and your unmistakable grace." ~ Giampiero Neri
"Borghi melancholically observes, yet joyfully sees the beauty of the world, the resulting beauty of the fragmented world, made, crushed, created, formed after the division of the original thing, which we all remember, with greater or lesser nostalgia: the moods alternate both the known painful feeling of being entangled in the formal trap - and admiration and song for creation, identified in the primordial beauty of the roses, which re-evoke the original wonder." ~ Maria Grazia Calandrone
Poet Claudio Borghi
Photo by Davide Borghi
Selections from The Still Flight
Oltre la sfera della grande immobile percezione riposa tutto l'invisibile o il visibile nascosto e inaccessibile. La mente emana, nello spazio della ragione matematica o della visione poetica, una rappresentazione che lascia cadere lieve nel suo alveo. Illudendosi di cristallizzare il flusso inarrestabile delle forme, consuma la sua linfa fino a diventar fibra dell'altrove. Il mondo si dissolve nel ghiaccio del cuore che sciogliendosi muore. Il mondo non ha tempo. Il tempo non ha misura.
Beyond the sphere of the great still perception rests all the invisible or the hidden and inaccessible visible. The mind emanates, in the space of the mathematical reason or of the poetic vision, a representation that it lets lightly fall into its bed. In the illusion of crystallizing the restless flow of forms, it consumes its sap until it becomes fiber of the elsewhere. The world dissolves into heart ice that melts and dies away. The world has no time. Time has no measure.
E bianche tacendo fluirono le forme, rinascendo nel chiarore quando il sole spuntò su tutto aprendo la sua forza, e la luce divenne bianca, luce che bianca tacendo apparve e aprì come dal profondo il mondo e le cose, e il cielo.
E bianche tacendo fluirono le forme, come l'acqua gelida rinascendo nel clamore quando la musica spuntò imponendo la sua voce, e la voce tacque rimanendo in alto, statua del silenzio, rinato silenzio dal fluire dell'immobile canto nato e come fermato, e le forme tacendo rimasero bianche, e bianca fu la musica, come sbocciata nell'acqua e nell'alto rimanere freddo.
Bianca, la luce e la voce, la luce fiorita e la voce sospesa, bianca la luce tacendo fluì e su tutto rimase la musica, bianca esplose, non dico come, bianca tacendo, rinascendo nel chiarore e rimanendo piena del giorno, quando il sole spuntò su tutto aprendo la sua forza.
And white and silent the shapes flowed, arising from the glow when the sun came out over everything opening up its strength, and the light became white, light that white silently appeared and opened as from the depth the world and the things, and the sky.
And white and silent the shapes flowed, like the icy water arising again in the clamor when the music came out imposing its voice, and the voice hushed remaining at the top, statue of the silence, reborn silence from the flow of the immobile chant born and nearly stopped, and silent the shapes remained white, and the music was white, as if bloomed in the water and in the high remaining cold.
White, the light and the voice, the bloomed light and the suspended voice, white the light silently flowed and over everything remained the music, white it exploded, I won't say how, silently white, arising from the light and remaining full of the day, when the sun came out over everything opening up its strength.
Il vento si solleva dal giaciglio del cuore.
In corsa si distende l'anima sul mondo.
Le foglie e le erbe si muovono.
Tace la sfera - si quietano le acque.
Si ferma il cielo - l'alta perla nell'acqua sciogliendosi si smarrisce.
Si chiude l'universo nell'Uno.
The wind rises from the bed of the heart.
Running the soul stretches over the world.
The leaves and the grass move.
The sphere is silent - the waters calm down.
The sky halts - the high pearl in the water melts and gets lost.
The Universe closes up in One.
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