Poems between natural and human history, private life and death, and about the crises of our century, from an acclaimed Italian poet.
In this prize-winning new book of poems, Historiae, the celebrated Italian poet Antonella Anedda speaks to many contemporary problems-environmental devastation, the aftermath of centuries of colonization, and the ongoing European immigration crisis.
Yet, with a strong humanist focus, she continually turns to the deeply rooted history, and natural history, of such issues, drawing on her own lifelong sojourns between the wild Sardinian archipelago of La Maddalena and her teeming Roman neighborhood of Trastevere.
In this collection, poems of community frame poems of private life, including a series of moving, elegiac lyrics regarding her mother's death. Anedda's interests extend to cosmology, physics, and the haunting presence of the classics. Her title comes from the ancient historian, Tacitus, who figures in the book as a prophet of the fateful recurrence of violence and exile in the Mediterranean.
With wit, insight, and economy, she reminds us that history is plural and that our perspectives, too, are constituted by pluralities. Anedda once described herself as "a hare with a mathematical mind," adding, "I am a poet who has seen, but also a poet who has listened."
Now, through these precise and musical versions by the distinguished translators Patrizio Ceccagnoli and Susan Stewart, English-speaking readers can understand for themselves why Anedda stands among the most admired of contemporary European poets.