Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo: UNTITLED POEM by Ivano Fermini, translated by Ian Seed

the Visigoth with a face of wisteria
the only pincers needed
unthreading the lightening
preserved in the snow
with shell-like hands and
words which blow on daybreak
until the roots tenderly come loose
curl in rings

By Ivano Fermini

Translated by Ian Seed

From The River Which Sleep Has Told Me

by Ivano Fermini

translated by Ian Seed

Published by Odd Volumes of The Fortnightly Review (2022)

Ivano Fermini (1948–2004) was born in San Paolo, a small village near Bolzano in the Alpines. Most of his adult life he lived with his sister in a flat in a working-class area of San Siro in Milan. He suffered from recurring bouts of mental illness. Towards the end of the 1970s he joined the ‘Niebo’ group, which centred around the poet Milo de Angelis, and included Emi Rabuffetti, Antonio Mungai, Alberto Schieppati, Giancarlo Pontiggia, Cesare Lievi, Marta Bertamini and Roberto Mussapi. The Niebo magazine, founded by De Angelis, ran to nine issues from 1977 to 1980, and published work inspired by visionary poets, such as William Blake, Gérard de Neval, and Arthur Rimbaud. Fermini himself was especially drawn to the work of Paul Celan. He would go on to publish two collections, Bianco allontanato (‘Banished White’) in 1985, and in 1990, Nati incendio (‘Fire Births’). Both these collections are now long out of print. He remains relatively unknown, both inside and outside Italy.

Ian Seed teaches Creative Writing at the University of Chester, and has also lectured in Italian Language and Literature at the University of Lancaster. He is a poet, critic, fiction writer, editor and translator. His latest collection of poetry is The Undeground Cabaret (Shearsman, 2020). He is a contributing editor of The Fortnightly Review.

Photo by Lisa Kalloo

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Read previous poems from Poetry Travels:


LIGHT by Vasyl Makhno, translated by Olena Jennings

A MESSAGE FROM THE ISLE OF WIGHT by Wioletta Greg, translated by Maria Jastrzębska and Anna Blasiak

HOME by Nataša Sardžoska, translated by the Author

ONLY THE BEGINNING COUNTS (4) by Jan Baeke, translated by Antoinette Fawcett

*** (RABID WINDS) by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk

ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS by Vainius Bakas, translated by Kerry Shawn Keys

AGGRESSOR’S MONOLOGUE by Artūras Valionis, translated by Jura Avizienis

THAT’S ALL by Jurgita Jasponytė, translated by Jura Avizienis

UNTITLED by Linas Umbrasas, translated by Audra Skukauskaitė

FIRST SPRING OF THE WAR by Vytautas Kaziela, translated by Jura Avizienis

A LETTER TO A CHILD by Lina Buidavičiutė, translated by Ada Valaitis

UNTITLED by Aneta Kamińska, translated by Anna Blasiak

TWO LYRICS OF LOVE AND MEMORY by Lina Kostenko, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj

CROW STUDY by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Ludmila Khersonsky, translated by Maya Chhabra

UNTITLED POEM by Iryna Vikyrchak

From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

TEAPOT by Nurduran Duman, translated by Andrew Wessels

IT’S COMING AGAIN by Michael Strunge, translated by Paul Russell Garrett

REPORT FROM ANOTHER CITY by Marcin Niewirowicz, translated by the Author

INTERIOR by Ana Blandiana, translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea

THIS IS LOVE by Joanna Fligiel, translated by Anna Blasiak

REVELATION IN H&M by Menno Wigman, translated by David Colmer

*** (I WANT TO FOLD THIS DAY) by Inga Pizāne, translated by Jayde Will

THE SIEGE by Marcin Świetlicki, translated by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

FISH by Jana Putrle Srdić, translated by Barbara Jurša

THE WELL by Maarja Pärtna, translated by Jayde Will

THE SHADOW by Pentti Saarikoski, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah

A FAREWELL TO MY DEAD CLASS by Irit Amiel, translated by Anna Blasiak and Marta Dziurosz

THE GIRLS IN BERGEN-BELSEN by Nora Gomringer, translated by Annie Rutherford

DECEMBER, by Jaume Subirana, translated by Christopher Whyte

ROSE RED, by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated by Karen Leeder

*** (I D[R]IPPED MY PEN…) by Mario Martín Gijón, translated by Terence Dooley

WHAT COMES by Magda Cârneci, translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Mădălina Bănucu

TRANSLATION by Justyna Bargielska, translated by Maria Jastrzębska

*** (MY EYES, DENSE NIGHT…) by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed

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