Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 29 July 2013

  • Days full of caves and tigers

    If the branch caught among the boulders reached us
    after a rough and stormy passage,
    and you retrieve it
    like a hunting trophy, to paint
    in red and yellow,
    colours of the tiger and the dragon;
    if the stone’s flat surface
    tells a story of grey
    wolf skin
    or of shipwreck on the shores
    of the Lugano Sea, which they wrongly claim
    to be a lake;
    if really my intention was to write something else
    about you that seemed so crystal clear,
    but even in my mind
    you manage to confuse it, and you are never
    sensible and good as gold; it must mean
    the world is more jazzy and exciting,
    the nights long with shouting
    and the days full of caves and tigers,
    where great courage is needed to enter
    in quest of golden bough or sparkling
    gemstone, amethyst or tourmaline.

    by Fabio Pusterla

    'Days full of caves and tigers' by Fabio Pusterla, translated by Simon Knight, is copyright © Fabio Pusterla, 2012. It is reprinted by permission of Arc Publications from Days Full of Caves and Tigers (Arc Publications, 2012).

    Notes from Arc Publications:

    Fabio Pusterla (b. 1957) is of mixed Swiss / Italian parentage, teaches Italian literature at the cantonal high school in Lugano, and lives just across the border on the Italian shore of Lake Lugano (Lago di Ceresio) in one of the villages of the Valsolda. A poet, translator, essayist and scholar, he contributes to many Italian, Swiss and French literary periodicals. The collection Days Full of Caves and Tigers is drawn from six books which span Pusterla's poetic career from 1985 to 2011. You can read 'Deposition', another poem from the book, on Arc's site, and get an insight into the translation process by reading an interview with Simon Knight on the Arc blog.

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