What peacebetween the foldsof her old black dress, grimyfrom blowing into the fire,peace alwaysas long as her headcovered my ownwith whitened hair.
TICKLED THE LAUGHTER
The memory is dear to melike the often too shortmeals of my hungry childhood.From hardened hands yellow flourinto boiling waterwhile the firecrackling on the stonestickled the laughterfrom my eyes tearful with smoke.
from Selected Poems by Aldo Vianello. Translations by Richard Burns, Peter Jay, and Linda Lappin.
Aldo Vianello is a little-known poet from Venice, now in his early
seventies. He has never been abroad; his work is firmly rooted in the
city he has loved all his life. His poems are mostly quite short, so I
have given two which are connected as they both reflect his childhood
and focus on his mother. The second shows how his mainly straightforward
style can be suddenly sharpened by a twist of syntax - here, the
omission in line 4 of words to the effect of "she poured", which quicken
and dramatize the image.
Vianello's first English selection, Time of a Flower, translated by Richard Burns, was Anvil's first publication in 1968. His new, bilingual Selected Poems, with additional translations by Peter Jay and Linda Lappin, appeared in 2008 as part of Anvil's 40th anniversary celebration.
Anvil Press Poetry was founded in 1968 and publishes English-language poetry and poetry in translation, both classic and modern.