the summer sun
a black cloud
or falls into the Egadi isles
of Levanzo & Favignana,
large & red,
as if it were the end
of the first day,
the birth of the earth.
the light seems to linger,
as if the Sicilian earth
were a source of light itself,
competing with moon & stars.
the mouth is parched
the stomach empty,
the sheer radiant splendor
of Sicilian light
suffuses the spirit.
no candle, lamp,
in or outside
of the people
of the sun.
that light the way
the olive groves,
the neat rows
the fields of melons,
the almond trees,
with green pods
of Sicilian light.
casuzze -- huts where the farmer would rest during the harvesting.
28 May 2000, Gibellina, Sicily
H. Barkan is the editor/publisher of the Cross-Cultural Review of
World Literature & Art in Sound, Print, and Motion. He is the author
of several books of poetry--The American Hototogisu (1974), The
Blacklines Scrawl (1976), Due poeti americani (1994, English-Italian
edition, with Nat Scammacca, translated by Enzo Bonventre), O Jerusalem
(1996, a photo-poetry collection with Ron Agam, in celebration of
the 3000th anniversary of Jerusalem, exhibited at New York City
Hall's Tweed Gallery, sponsored by the Office of Mayor Rudolph W.
Giuliani), Under the Apple Tree / Pod jablonia (1998, English-Polish
edition, translated by Adam Szyper), and, his latest, Bubbemeises
& Babbaluci (2000, English-Italian edition, translated by Nat &
Nina Scammacca). In 1991, he was honored as New York City Poetry
Teacher of the Year by the Board of Education and Poets House, and,
in 1996, the Small Press Center in New York presented him with a
bust of Benjamin Franklin as winner of the Seventh Poor Richards
Award "for 25 years of high quality publishing [that] has brought
the world closer together through literature." "Sicilian Light"
is from his forthcoming English-Sicilian collection, Pāssuli cu
mčnnuli / Raisins with Almonds, translated by Marco Scalabrino.