Erminia Passannanti


I know nothing new,
I have a squints eye.
I look,
and remember everything,
I remember too much
of the stories of my ancestors.

With a heavy pack-saddle on my back
I come to the great millstone
of which I call myself the ass.
I was stupid,
I sometimes think: I have been
somebodys, I belonged
to a worm, to the clattering millstone
I learned to know its weight,
digging out a circular furrow
with head down.

I had constantly
in my head that smell
of olive pulp, the intense
olive-green of the stone,
the decomposed swarm of flies,
my father who tasted the oil
with two fingersoutside
the air was white.

They call it a track.
If they had been making
pottery it would have been,
that circular ditch,
a perfect tomb for the objects.
I stamped there the print of my hoof.

It is reduced, the present,
to a sticky mass by the press,
year after year, one turn after the other,
distilling a funeral dirge.
it decants itself, I am tired.


 - ENT

incipient darkness
the blackout before
in a turmoil of rooms
a house of darkness.
scars on the walls
that are subsiding. and I sense
in myself the wide-open iris,
the window
on the darkness. the hand, the abdomen
above everything
I still believe
in the roundness
of touch.
if one could
remain seated
in ones own eye
on the seats of the darkness
to listen to the sermon of the bones,
the submissive prayer
of the eyelids
while in the distance
the shadows roll on.
and a furrow goes to the continuous
participle of darkness.


Erminia Passannanti (Salerno, Italy) is poet, essayist and translator. She obtained a Ph.D. in Italian Literature at University College London (London, UK) and has published extensively in this specialist area both as a literary critic. Her first poetry selection Noi altri was published by Vanni Scheiwiller in the anthology I 5 Poeti del Premio Laura Nobile, (series:Allinsegna del Pesce d Oro, 19932). In 1995, she won the First Prize of the National Poetry Competition, Rassegna di Poesia Laura Nobile (Siena). Her second collection, Macchina, is pub lished by Manni Editore (Lecce, 2000) within the series La scrittura e la storia.

She is the author of Il corpo & il potere. Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma, di Pier Paolo Pasolini (Troubador 2004), and Poem of the Roses. Lingusitic Expressionism in the Poetry of Franco Fortini (Troubador, 2004). After Mistici (Ripostes, 2003) and Exstasis (Lietocolle, 2003), she has published La realtà. Poesie (Ripo stes, 2004), Il Roveto. Poesie (Troubador, 2005), Il Torsolo del Ventre ed altre Fandonie (2006) and Poesia del dissenso. Poesia italiana contemporanea. Unantologia di testi e autori (Troubador, 2005).

Dr Erminia Passannanti (PhD in Italian Lit., UCL)
Docente di Letteratura Inglese
mobile UK: +44(0)7941 998057
mobile Italy +39 320 91 44 761


(Tr By Brian Cole) fr Erminia Passannanti, Machine, Troubador Publishing Ltd, Leicester, 2005)



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