PoetrySpring/Summer 2023

Antonia Pozzi — Moorland (translated by Amy Newman)

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

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
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.

◊ ◊ ◊

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.

The author: Debra Marquart