Crouched among the periwinkles you evade the panting fury of the horses and the howl of dogs in the sun. You are like the blue-green lizard afraid of its own noise and you love these cherry trees just in bloom, almost shadowless. Faint contours of hills by your lashes: and at your ear, curved just so at the dry heather, from time to time the rumble of foals through the plain.
With butterflies skimming the ground you pause at the flowering gorse and suddenly the shadow crossing you gives you enormous wings. Now you laugh, splendid rustle, at the shadowy bolt of horses, the hares leaping timid among the daffodils.
Ungiven caresses Linger among the fingers of the peach tree and glances of love we never had hang from the wisteria on the bridges— But the river is heavy with fury of crestless water, bears in its womb deep mountain ranges: and through the immense unraveling of the woods the wind finds light, touches the cool April clouds. 28 April 1937
Poet and photographer Antonia Pozzi, born in Milan in 1912, lived a brief life, dying by suicide in 1938. She left behind photographs, diaries, notebooks, letters, and over 300 poems; none of her poems were published in her lifetime. After her death, Pozzi’s poetry was posthumously altered by her father Roberto, who scrubbed any evidence of his daughter’s passionate love affairs and her doubts about religion. It would not be until 1989 that editors Alessandra Cenni and Onorina Dino restored the poems to their original form in Parole, an authoritative text of Pozzi’s poetry, the most recently revised edition of which is Tutte le opera (2009), edited by Cenni.
Amy Newman’s sixth book of poetry, An Incomplete Encyclopedia of Happiness and Unhappiness, is forthcoming from Persea Books in the fall of 2023. Her translations of Pozzi’s poems and letters appear of are forthcoming in Sonora Review, The Laurel Review, Bangalore Review, Ilanot Review, Azonal, Poetry, Bennington Review, and Delos: A Journal of Translation and World Literature, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Department of English at Northern Illinois University.
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The copyright for the poems of Antonia Pozzi belongs to the Carlo Cattaneo and Giulio Preti International Insubric Center for Philosophy, Epistemology, Cognitive Sciences and the History of Science and Technology of the University of Insubria, depositary and owner of the whole Archive and Library of Antonia Pozzi.