Andrea Molesini

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On that Invisible Line. Five Lectures

Cafoscarina Editrice 2006, pp.66, EURO 9,00

On that Invisible Line. Five LecturesSharp and sassy, Simic takes his distance from the more lyrical Williams by avowing a certain unconfessed fellow-feeling: “Ars poetica: I ate the white chickens and left the red wheelbarrow out in the rain”. Almost inevitably, the Italian reader will compare him with the great Slav poets who are known to us: Herbert, Milosz and, above all, Szymborska. Arbitrary comparisons perhaps, but ones that are not totally out of place, because even in Simic one can see the mark left by the soul of Eastern Europe: the mark of the refugee who has escaped from the great slaughterhouse of history, of the naughty child who is sent to stand in the corner and, almost without realizing it, feels happy in his own solitude, his own precious diversity.
The enemies confronted by Simic’s verse are a vulgarity that renders everything banal, a yearning for conformity – and these are undercut by poetry which proceeds with a sharpened and amused gypsy-sense of the world around us, with the lithe strength of a walking cat.

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