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A poem of Giovanni Nacca

A fire-pot of thoughts makes red hot the night

Sunday 25 April 2010, by redazione

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A fire-pot of thoughts makes red hot the night
while I pack the lost thing list
the gone –by hopes
the wind far ghosts.
They weren’t certainties, sand and crusts
nests of snakes and black scorpions
dripped into the slow passing of the hours.

I’m waiting for the day with its dowry of light.
and then I will embrace a whole sun beam
filigree of never dying salvation.

This charming and catching poem is taken from the latest book written by Giovanni Nacca, FERITOIE (Loopholes). Its 10 lines, of different length are divided into two stanzas of 7 verses the former and of 3 the latter. This division is intended to convey the idea of a sharp contrast between two blocks: the night against the day the darkness against the light.

The night is the Time/Space of painful thinking, of the drill which tortures mind and spirit in the endless quest of everlasting values. Can it be a Recherche du temps perdu? I don’t think so, on the contrary it seems to be the last epitaph on the past and old-fashioned season: a season of betrayed and gone hopes for a better world; a season betrayed by the ‘68 generation, which was more inclined to warship money than Man. It is a time of sand, that is to say of crumbly ideals, which fell down on the very first contrast with reality and the contradictions of History. It is an era of crusts and scabs, of useless tools, of stuffy bread, stuffy for the spiritual growth of contemporary society. The narrating I is proud of his inclination for the tasty and healthy bread of the elected spirits among which we think he is. He has never surrendered to business, to selfishness. It is a time of snakes and scorpions when no one embraces you sincerely but he/she has just to gain personal advantages, when hugs are poisonous and treacherous.

A very different setting and register characterize the second stanza, from which emerge two rich and effective images: the day which brings as its dowry new light and then the embrace with a sun-beam. The striking word is ‘dowry’, that clashes against the utilitarian connotations that conveys in modern society. In fact, dowry is synonym of richness, fat people, eagerness of luxury: it is a word which carries on itself negative ‘implicatures’, Paul Grice would say. But for Nacca ‘dowry’ doesn’t mean material richness or power, but it means light, life, spirit. Eventually the last line focuses on filigree, which is here the symbol of marvellous, wonderful actual feelings, that are entrusted to foster and bring salvation to the New Mankind.

Giuseppe Rotoli

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