The sky was green with cold between the pine needles
and no one’s around, the snow’s suspended moisture
weaves itself into the smell of wet clothes,
you gripped the axe’s handle, forever poised
to make a mark, three asterisks, initials and a date
and the dignity of your hands bled out into sweetness,
now, between dust and dominion, where you met
yourself in who knows which forest of my eyes
when you turned to me and said, god, how much sun,
and so far off, so other, how steadily each day
wrings the heart and goes its separate way.

Author Image

Pierluigi Cappello was born in 1967 in Gemona del Friuli. He has published seven collections of poetry. Among his awards are a Montale Europa prize (2004), the Bagutta Opera Prima prize (2007), and the prestigious Viareggio-Rèpaci prize (2010) for his collection Mandate a dire all’imperatore (Crocetti Editore). In 2013, Rizzoli printed his selected poems in the volume Azzurro elementare, together with his first narrative work, Questa Libertà, which won him the 2014 Terzani prize. Photo credit: Maria Cecilia Camozzi

Todd Portnowitz’s translations have appeared in Poesia, the Journal of Italian Translation, and Le parole e le cose, with original work in Poetry Salzburg Review, the Birmingham Poetry Review, and Antioch Review. Recent work is forthcoming in the Italian Poetry Review. He currently lives in New York City, where he works as a translator and editor.

Proprietà letteraria riservata
© Pierluigi Cappello
© 2013 RCS Libri S.p.A., Milano
Mandate a dire all’imperatore © 2010 Fondazione Poesia Onlus – Italian Poetry Foundation

Feature image by Andy Goldsworthy, Reconstructed icicles around a tree, Glen Marlin Falls, Dumphrieshire, Scotland. December 28, 1995.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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