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Parole in prestito

March 7, 2011

Sono giorni che vorrei scrivere qualcosa sugli sbarchi a Lampedusa, sui rifugiati libici in Tunisia, sulle migliaia di persone che abbandonano la Costa d’Avorio. Mentre cercavo le parole, ho trovato questo ed ho pensato che per il momento non avrei avuto parole migliori.


We with our vagrant language
we with our incorrigible accents
and another word for milk
we who come by train
and embrace on platforms
we and our wagons
we whose voice in our absence
is framed on a bedroom wall
we who share everything
and nothing –
this nothing which we break in two
and wash down with a gulp
from the only bottle,
we whom the cuckoo
taught to count,
into what currency
have they changed our singing?
What in our single beds
do we know of poetry?

We are experts in presents
both wrapped ones
and the others left surreptitiously.
Before leaving we hide our eyes our feet our backs.
What we take is for the luggage rack.
We leave our eyes behind
in the window frames and mirrors
our feet behind
on the carpet by the bed
our backs
in the mortar of the walls
and the doors hung on their hinges.
The door closed behind us
and the noise of the wagon wheels.

We are experts in taking.
We take with us anniversaries
the shape of a fingernail
the silence of the child asleep
the taste of your celery
and the word for milk.
What in our single beds do we know of poetry?

Single track, junction and
marshalling yards
read out loud to us
No poem has longer lines
than those we have taken.
Like horsedealers we know how
to look a distance in the mouth
and judge its pain by its teeth.

With mules, on foot
by airliners and lorries
in our hearts
we carry everything,
harvests, coffins, water,
oil, hydrogen, roads,
flowering lilac and
the earth thrown into the mass grave.

We with our bad foreign news
and another word for milk
what in our single beds
do we know of poetry?

We know as well as the midwives
how women carry children
and give birth,
we know as well as the scholars
what makes a language quiver.

Our freight.
The bringing together of what has been parted
makes a language quiver.
Across millennia and the village street
through tundra and forests
by farewells and bridges
towards the city of our child
everything must be carried.

We contain poetry
as the cattle trucks of the world
carry cattle.
Soon in the sidings
they will sluice them down.


Da: John Berger,  And our faces, my heart, brief as photos

Le foto invece (Reuters, LaPress) vengono da una fotogallery di Repubblica

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