The Swiss Riveter: VERSANT by Vanni Bianconi, translated by the author

And there you are. Rain digs them

and follows steep paths in rivulets,

deer trails slope across. If lost, let

the curving ones lead you, the unseen, stemmed

by years of undergrowth. Tread them.

Listen, your steps spell syllables,

taste them they are brief, berries,

nouns. Shout if haunted by a name.

Over your shibboleths, lichens grow

and turn them into REM

but don’t be afraid, it’s only them,

the Unspeakable remains so

(yet if It stirs within the rock, timbers

screech, the pasture strips bare).

By Vanni Bianconi

Translated by the author

Vanni Bianconi was born in Locarno and now lives in London. He has published four poetry collections in Italian and one prose book in English, London as a Second Language. He’s the founder and artistic director of Babel, festival of literature and translation, and of the multilingual web-magazine (

From Il passo dell’uomo (Edizioni Casagrande, 2012)

Photo of Vanni Bianconi © From the Author;s Archive

Category: The Swiss RiveterTranslationsDecember 2018 - The Swiss RiveterLiterally SwissLS Extracts


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