Four poems by Guido Cupani translated by Patrick Williamson

LA GATTA CHE NON SO ACCAREZZARE

dal centro del suo io a ciambella sul cuscino
sbagliato sbadiglia e tutt’a un tratto si riscuote e
decide che vuole uscire

Ed è forse così che nascono universi: con uno
sbadiglio e un guizzo ad acchiappare

qualcosa che è passato dietro il vetro – l’ho visto, apri la
porta – in quest’ora circondata dalla noia

THE CAT I CAN’T CARESS.

in the center of her “I” doughnut on the wrong cushion
yawns and all of a sudden shakes herself and
decides she wants to go out

And maybe this is how universes are created: with a
yawn and a leap to snatch

something that went behind the window – I saw it, open
the door – in this now encircled by ennui

DACCI MENO UNIVERSO, UN PO’ DI MENO

e una mente che pieghi le maniche dietro le spalle,
che abbia pace nel sonno di un cassetto, e rimetti
a noi i nostri limiti come noi li rimetteremmo se
potessimo, Padre dell’essere appena, spegni le
stelle superflue del nostro cielo e non farci vedere
più di un soffio oltre il bordo del prossimo, questo
cortile, questa cena, due fiori sul davanzale
quotidiano, un libro aperto anche domani sulla
stessa pagina, numeri soltanto fino al dieci e delle
lettere solo il tondo di una O

GIVE US LESS UNIVERSE, A BIT LESS

and a mind that folds its sleeves behind the shoulders,

that is at peace in the sleep of a drawer, and forgive

us our limits just as we would forgive others

if we could, Father of barely being, turn off the

superfluous stars of our heaven and let us not see

more than a whisker beyond next-door’s edge, this

courtyard, this dinner, two flowers on the daily

windowsill, a book open on the same page
tomorrow, numbers only up to ten and letters

only the roundness of an O

1 +1 +1

UN CUORE IMPARA A FARE IL CUORE ANCHE NON UDITO

Qualcuno ha bussato alla nostra porta mentre eravamo fuori la pioggia
tamburellava sul tetto a metà del sonno e non ce ne siamo accorti

Benedetto allora il cuore che cuce il tempo
centoventi virgole d’ago al minuto per
dire, per dire, per dire,

(imparano di nuovo a contare le nostre bocche spalancate nel
rintocco dell’ecografo) più uno, più uno, più uno, più uno,
più uno, più uno, più uno,

1 +1 +1

A HEART LEARNS TO BE A HEART EVEN IF NOT HEARD

Someone knocked on our door while we were out the rain

was beating on the roof mid-sleep and we didn’t realise

Blessed then the heart that sews time

one hundred twenty needle marks a minute to

say, to say, to say,

(they learn anew how to count our gaping mouths in

the blips of ultrasound) and one, and one, and one, and one,

and one, and one, and one,

2

PRIMA DI TE

non sapevo fare l’amore

ma soprattutto non sapevo fare la pazienza

fare la noia fare l’attesa insomma fare
la vita tutta fra una parentesi aperta e
una parentesi chiu

No, non voglio dirlo

Ecco, vedi

prima di te non sapevo fare il silenzio
ora lo so

2

BEFORE YOU

I didn’t know how to make love

but above all I didn’t know how to be patient.
to be bored to have to wait
in short to live life entirely
between an opening parenthesis and
a closing parenthes

No, I don’t want to say that.

There, you see
before you I didn’t know how
to be quiet. Now I do.



Guido CupaniGuido Cupani is an Italian poet and astrophysicist. His poetry collections include Meno UniversoDot.com Press, 2018, Le felicità, Samuele Editore, 2015, and Qualcosa di semplice sulla neve, Edizioni Culturaglobale, Cormòns, 2013. Guido collaborates with journals Perìgeion and Fare voci, his geographical and cultural roots lie in the Friuli region but he has the theoretical awareness of the astrophysicist, which he brings into play in his poetry. He has the gift of control and measure, common to poets who live in the lands of the north-east, made up of mutable horizons, crossings and borders.

About the contributor

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator. Editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012) and translator notably of Tahar Bekri, Gilles Cyr, Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca. Most recent poetry collections in English-Italian with Samuele Editore: Traversi (2018), Beneficato (2015)

Related Articles

3 Poems by Zoe Karathanasi

Zoe Karathanasi’s poetry appeared or is forthcoming in Ink Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter's House, Tears in the Fence and others.

Featured Poet, Melanie Hyo-In Han

Poet, foodie and linguaphile Melanie Hyo-In Han

New poetry by Halsey Hyer

Associate Editor for Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Halsey Hyer.

More Like This

‘Lilies from America New and Selected Poems’ Carmen Bugan -Reviewed

"Lilies from America New and Selected Poems" Carmen Bugan Shearsman Books  ISBN 9781848616738 Carmen Bugan's family were forced to leave Ceaușescu's Romania where her parents' typewriter was...

2 Poems by Marilyn Humbert

Sydney Poet, Marilyn Humbert

3 New Poems from Matt Hohner

Matt Hohner won the Oberon Poetry Award in 2016

Four Poems by Franca Mancinelli, translated by John Taylor

Four poems by Franca Mancinelli one can play dead: arms spread, the backbone for a keel, nothing in the mind, motion like a memory of water. ...

Irina-Roxana Georgescu, translated by Corina Moise Poenaru

Corina Moise Poenaru translates poetry by Irina-Roxana Georgescu