“Blazing” by Luigi Fontanella

Luigi Fontanella


Only the blazing matters,
the stoking of the fire,
the crackling so fierce and sundry,
its defiant start, that moment
just before
the flash, the flame, the senses
suddenly all ablaze.
To me all the rest
is boredom and disgust, gray rubble:
chilled ashes with no horizon,
a nauseating decay.
I think of the wood down in the basement,
of how much is left, how much we’ll need
to burn over the next few days,
how much dormant energy
we’ll need to draw upon time after time
to make the flame be flame again.

—tr. by Irene Marchegiani

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003
Tribute to Italian Poets

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