I receive and publish for this blog, the review by Fabrizio Fantoni for L’almanacco del Ramo d’oro on “The birth, only the birth” by Luigia Sorrentino (in the photo by Dino Ignani ). In the video – produced by Romapoesia PoEtiche edited by Franca Rovigatti and Maria Teresa Carbone – Luigia Sorrentino reads the poem “The impulse of the rose” contained in the book.
by Fabrizio Fantoni
«” It has the shape of a shield the wing / that pushes externally on each / side to millimeters, in that vertebra / looks for a recess to its margin / recurrent the gesture that tightens / up to remove the breath / flares up like a scissor / it is spreading producing the necessary / vibration / but cutting is not reduced / the penalty in coming, / the stay here in the middle / as a grain / infinitely or dust / confusedly, in the cold “.
With this poem, taken from the poem “In that vertebra”, opens the collection of Luigia Sorrentino, “Birth, only birth” (Manni 2009, € 10.00). These few introductory verses are enough to realize that we are faced with a qualitatively high work that immediately leads the reader to a border territory – the labile margin that separates life from death – in which the being seems suspended in a dramatic condition between being there and not being there anymore.
The poetic discourse of all Sorrentine opera flows through an uninterrupted succession of images, situations, figures that seem to re-emerge from the bottom of a dream. The result is an expressively strong verse, in which the plot of a narrative fabric – well present and recognizable in the author’s work – finds its shape in a scan of sounds and symbols in which the truth of a human experience is established. Thus, the contingent becomes a screen on which the concerns and tensions of an “I” project that, page after page, in an inexhaustible flow of verses, abandons the limitative conditions that oblige it to an existence emptied of meaning – “Life that does not” – to find a primal essence, a lost integrity.
It seems clear that these texts are related to the time in which they were written, a time when (as the author states in an interview with Rita Pacifici) “the being has gradually lost its deeper meaning of existence . A time when it was written mainly a history of death and destruction, a time when the weight of death prevailed over that of life “.
“Birth, only birth” represents a reversal of this situation, a revival of life that takes place through the slippery of a birth placed in continuous relationship with the death “always lurking”, “that death”, as Sorrentino writes in one of his poems, “I look and it hurts me with every syllable”. The whole collection is dominated by a profound link between life and death, reflecting, in this sense, the desire and the need, felt by the author, of a birth, or rather of a rebirth, which takes place through the experimentation of death, of a light that breaks out of the darkness, of a beginning that is generated from an end. Paul Celan writes: “For death one relives, the one who says shadows says the truth”. It is clear, in fact, that only by giving voice to death is it possible to re-emerge the maximum of truth.
The link between birth and death also permeates the space in which poetry moves: an environment that, as Maurizio Cucchi says in the preface to the book, is characterized by “a material presence at the same time dense and fiercely restless”. The one described by Sorrentino is a world in continuous becoming caught in its making and undoing itself, an insidious and attractive, destructive and life-giving land, capable of submerging the man under a “rain of ash and lapilli” but also to give him “the joy of the blade of grass / when everything has passed “.
See some verses taken from the section entitled “The weight of the earth” (a poem in which the story of a people driven out of his land is evoked) in which we read: “We came from a path / from the darkness that man generates / the darkness of the father / we came before you to see / after the first death / the much loved cry “. Here is the land – “the beloved” – to cry for the pain of its people, becoming itself, the bearer of a desire for reparation, an instance of rebirth.
The work of Sorrentino is therefore the result of a flow of life all in poetry, of a coincidence of poetry with the sense of existing as a great and indifferent unity that everything tightens in its flow. The instance of birth – or rather of rebirth – that animates the entire collection is found in the last section of the book, entitled “La Cattedrale”, a definition of it.
The Cathedral, which is etymologically the place of the chair from which the law is imparted, becomes in these compositions the place where there is the ferment of a creation, in which the germ of a change is deposited: “like a bad lying / in sores of the world / dream of going out with the day / and meeting those simple / when we were / that wind that I can not pronounce / when the morning is rarefied, / in a thread of dawn comes and the trees / take the color that they want / the day in a sign of moon / to excess s’inclina on us / and look, here in its cold / the liquid, the colors, the crystals “. The long existential journey made by the author thus qualifies in what the Greeks called nostos-ritorno: a backward journey in which being, through poetry, regains a more human and more conscious dimension of existence.
In this sense, the birth of which Sorrentino speaks acquires the connotations of a process of artistic creation. What then is “the punishment in coming” if not the poem itself which, when born, re-establishes the balance between the self and the world? This vision is expressed, in particular, in the poem that closes the collection: “to you that you have the task of naming / flowers, trees, animals and things all / to you that declare our name / there where everything seems to hide / to us that we go out of the space / in the language of the sky like / split clouds and in earth magnolias / we who do not turn back / we will return, we who will be / here where we are now “. It is poetry itself that names the missing word, which shapes human experience by defining it and determining the return to a human condition of existence, of being together in return.
The close link between birth and artistic creation finds an additional representation in the image chosen by the author for the cover of the book. It is a detail of the painting “Kings killed at the decline of force”, created by Mimmo Paladino in 1981 for the exhibition “TerraeMotus” in Villa Campolieto and now kept in the Royal Palace of Caserta in the Lucio Amelio collection. The filiform figure, reproduced on the cover, shows “l’artifex”, the artist, who, emerging from the gray background of the canvas in a game of fading, appears floating on a land torn by a tragic event. With the geometric forms of his body “l’artifex” harmonizes the space he occupies, thus symbolizing the regenerating force of artistic expression, the artist’s ability to bring order to chaos, to bring about a rebirth. »