Alfredo de Palchi
Paradigm
New and Selected Poems 1947—2009

Selected, edited and introduced by John Taylor


Translated from the original Italian by Luigi Bonaffini, Barbarba Carle, Ned Condini, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Michael Palma, Sonia Raiziss, I. L. Salomon, Gail Segal
and John Taylor.


ISBN 978-0-9884787-1-8
xxx, 543 pp.
$20.

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Here in one volume are seven collections of poetry spanning 62 years and encompassing the lifework of the poet. Each collection plumbs a different theme to its depths: the experience of imprisonment, the carnage and madness of war, the violence of man and beast in nature, the hunger and savagery of sex, the search for self, the inevitability of destiny and the poet's rejection and mockery of death. The titles in this bilingual edition are La buia danza di scorpione / The Scorpion's Dark Dance (1947-1951), Sessioni con l'analista / Sessions With My Analyst (1948-1966), Costellazione anonima / Anonymous Constellation (1953-1973), Le viziose avversioni / Addictive Aversions (1951-1996), Paradigma / Paradigm (1950-2000), Ultime / The Last Ones (2000-2005) and Foemina tellus / Foemina Tellus (2005-2009). The texts, either given entire or represented by large selections, are newly checked and sometimes revised, and therefore constitute the poet's final versions.

"In the landscape that consists of American poetry and the foreign verse available in translation, the originality and independence of Alfredo de Palchi have long been conspicuous. As an Italian poet who has lived in the United States for more than fifty years, who continues to write exclusively in Italian, yet whose work has been extensively translated ever since Sessions with My Analyst (1970) and especially The Scorpion's Dark Dance (1993), Anonymous Constellation (1997) and Addictive Aversions (1999), de Palchi stands out because of his terse, tense verse wrought out of syntactic boldness, semantic leaps, unsentimental self-scrutiny, and tonalities ranging from sarcasm to erotic glorification. His subject matter draws on his own experiences, especially in his early poems that evoke his impoverished, fatherless childhood, his suffering during the Second World War, and his unjust postwar incarceration. In his later verse, he leaves this grim war-time past behind him, scrutinizes man-woman relationships, exalts sexual pleasure, and turns toward science, notably biology and geology. This at once precise and idiosyncratic way that science is brought to bear on his dark view of human behavior and, more generally, of the human condition, alone distinguishes him from most contemporary poets in the United States and Europe."

~ from John Taylor's Introduction

Purchase of this book includes a free copy of the sixty-three page booklet, The Poetry of Alfredo de Palchi: An Interview and Three Essays by Giuseppe Panella, translated by Jeremy Alden. Both are fine editions and sent together shrink wrapped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

Selections from Paradigm

FIVE POEMS FROM FOEMINA TELLUS ("Feminine Earth")
2005-2009, translated by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

 

 

 

 

Alfredo de Palchi
Photo by Gerard Malanga

 

(1)

Contro la mia morte I

Sembri fragile
ma uale patrizia barbarossa
di unica natura
sorpassi Verona e la "bass" che mi vide
saltare i fossi con la pertica;

ora macilenta
a mani bianche di guanti
mi vuoi conquistare tra questi banchi di frutta
passo dopo passo
penetrando ancestralmente il corpo
che nel miasma di spezie tu smanii
di sbranare.

Estate 2005

Against My Death I

You seem frail
but like patricia the redbeard
with her singular nature
you bypass Verona and its "lower" province
where I pole-vaulted over the streams;

now gaunt
with your white-gloved hands
you want to seduce me among these fruit stalls
step after step
ancestrally penetrating my body
which in the miasma of spices you're itching
to maul.

Summer 2005


(2)

L'eterno abita
in me posseduto dal tuo fisico terragno
multicolor
laborioso d'insetti e formicai
enorme di alpi fiumi rocce
suolo soffice
pube adolescente
che invigorisce la vecchiaia
nella tua esaltazione
per me frutto che striscia
di nodi e radici di quercia
crescendo nel sotterraneo di talpe topi vermi
filice vita e feroce
quale la tua
enoerme...

3 novembre 2006

The eternal lives
in me possessed by your earthy
multicolored physique
industrious with insects and ants
vast with alps rivers rocks
pliant plains
teenage pubis
which in its ecstasy
invigorates old age
for me, shuffling fruit that I am
with oak nodes and roots
growing in the underground of moles mice worms
a felicitous and ferocious life
like yours
so vast...

3 November 2006

(3)

Younger than springtime, am I?
a ottanta
la mia giovinezza che ha il florido
colore del cadavere repristinato
a te che sei eterna
grida la gioia
non l'ogoglio di trascinarsi
alla caverna che abbaglia
per il bagliore della tua presenza
maligna malevola malefica.

11 dicembre 2006

Younger than springtime, am I?
at eighty
my youth with the florid
color of a corpse restored
for you who are eternal
shouts with joy
not with pride at dragging itself
to the cavern that gleams
with the glow of your presence
malignant malevolent malicious.

11 December 2006

(4)

Ti ricevo a schiaffi
per stanarti i denti marci dalle mandibole
a calci sugli stinchi per crollarti
in mucchio di ossi
nel tritume che si apre in una voragine

domini la rissa
all concezione che benedice
in nulla d'ogni gesù
e che abbaia quello d'ogni cane
condannati alla brutalità
non prima di beffeggiarti
sputarti nelle occhiaie il veleno
e per sempre rinnegarti per sempre.

24 dicembre 2006

I receive you with slaps
to clear out the rotting teeth in your jaws
kicking your shins so you crumble
into a pile of bones
on the rubble that opens into a chasm

you dominate the brawl
over the idea that blesses
the insignificance of every Christ
and barks at the insignificance of every dog
damned to brutality
but not before I mock you
spitting poison in your eyes
and forever disown you forever.

24 December 2006


(5)

Che significa lo strazio
dei denti lasciati nel costato sinistro
quasi al cuore il morso
lo schifo ridente delle mandibole sdentate

mi avvisi
che mi stai accanto quanto
la madre al figlio
l'anziano moglie
all'uomo panciuto che sonnecchia
sulla panchina del parco

non panciuto né tranquillo
mi ribello alle incursioni
ti sfido a chiudermi tra la braccia di ossi
e stritolarmi—vedi
sei lercia sei l'orrore
eppure ti corteggio
ti vedo ti vesto di beltà lunare
ossessionata bionda spiga
rossa di labbra gonfie
o mora succulenta di more
infine in un rettangolo di verde.

28 dicembre 2006

What does it mean, the agony
of teeth dug into my left side
almost biting my heart
the nauseating laughter of toothless jaws

you let me know
you're as close to me as
a mother to her son
the old wife
to the pot-bellied man dozing
on the park bench

neither pot-bellied nor at ease
I rebel against your incursions
I dare you to clasp me in your bony arms
and crush me—see
you're filthy you're a fright
and still I court you
I see you, dress you in lunar beauty
obsessive wheat blonde
full red lips
or succulent blackberry purple
lying at last in a rectangle of grass.

28 December 2006



Anamaría Crowe Serrano
Translator

HEAR Alfredo de Palchi on the Internet

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