Anna Santoliquido (Italy)

Anna Santoliquido (Italy)
Anna Santoliquido, born in Forenza (Pz), lives in Bari, where she taught English. A poet, writer and essayist, since 1981 she has published twenty-one collections of verse, including Città fucilata (Kragujevac, 2010), Med vrsticami (Lubiana, 2011), Casa de piatrǎ (Bucarest, 2014), Versi a Teocrito (Bari, 2015), I have gone too far (Stepanakert, 2016), Profetesha (Saranda, 2017), Parole e grappoli (Teheran, 2018), one volume of stories, and has edited numerous anthologies. Her play, The Baptist, went on stage in 1999. She is a translator and promotes cultural activities. She founded the International Movement “Women and Poetry”. She is a member of the committee of the National Writers Section SLC-CGIL and is responsible for “Puglia Basilicata”, as well as the Apulia Region of PEN Club, Italy. Her poetry has been translated into twenty-two languages. Her work appears in many national and foreign literary journals, collections of critical essays and anthologies. In 2010 she was awarded honorary citizenship of Mrcajevci (Serbia). She is an honorary member of the Serbian Writers Association, and of the Union of Independent Writers of Bulgaria. In 2017, she was conferred the Laurea Apollinaris Poetica by the ‘Università Pontificia Salesiana’ of Rome. The critical essay by Francesca Amendola, Anima mundi. La scrittura di Anna Santoliquido, was published in the same year. In 2018 the volumes Parole in festa per Anna Santoliquido, edited by the ‘Laboratorio Don Bosco oggi’ and Una vita in versi, edited by Francesca Amendola, were completed and published. In 2019, a thesis on her works was defended at the University of Bari. The bibliography of her works is vast.
I’ve seen again
years later
the house of stone
wrapped in the sun
and in silence.
has chiselled
its story
on its outer face
offering it as a gift
to the curious eyes
of summer visitors.
The old plane-tree too
still paints
its picture
with its cool shadow
which for long years
it has given
to the burning stones
and the remains
of a door
long worn out.
The seat
a stony witness
in its dignity
is still there.
She is no longer there
she who darked-faced
and white-haired
questioned the sky
as if in prayer…
Everything had an air
of past history,
of regret.
I’ve seen life again
in a tuft of grass
growing miraculously
in a crevice.
I’ve spoken to the stones
about beauty
and life
and love.
from I figli della terra (Children of the earth),
Edizioni Fratelli Laterza, Bari 1981
Translated by Valerie Cleverton
for Moma Dimić
I will leave the sparrows
my pent up feelings
to warm the nest
to protect their kind
to the hawk I leave my vision
and extent of fantasy
to inspire their flight
to gladden the dusk
to the oak and the turkey oak
I leave the intimacy of my works
to help them bear iciness
and barbarianism
to the vineyard my unripe ideas I leave
the sun will mellow them
into aglianico
and health will be drunk
to the moon an unborn sentiment
as enchantment and resurrection must it be hatched
with the energy of science
and the authenticity of the simple
to fire and snow
I leave the impetus of language
and the rime of its lyrics
they will fuel tenderness
to river and stream
I leave the fluidity of signs
they will flow as long as humanity
defends the universe
to the heavens and children
the colours of writing I leave
with its rhymes and assonances
and its vortices of innocence
to thin air I leave sorrow
blood clots
the anxiety of labour pains
and restlessness
to poets I leave the dilemma
the joviality of the journey
and the purity of the pages
to bequeath to posterity
to words I leave a caress
as sweet as acacia honey
grateful for their loyalty
and the battle
5th September 2003
from Ed è per questo che erro (And this is why I wander),
Smederevo 2007
Translated by Janet Mary Wing
I thought the firmament shed its leaves
instead it threw flames
soul on the anvil
horses at full tilt
she crushed salt in the mortar
watered the rose garden
patched up her life
thinking of her man in New York
who knows how he spent his nights!
were his women white or black?
sulking and desire
washed away by the river
the ship was brimming with peasants
sad days on the ocean
hope clenched between teeth
guilt under their fingernails
how to reconcile feelings
with water?
they’d had to rip themselves from the land
to reach the new world
the child in the womb
challenged destiny
she sang songs
that drifted through the woods
the sheets were candid
on the dry grass
the mare impatient
under the elm tree
his letters bore witness to tenderness
full-blooded sentences
she kept his hand organ in the chest
the candle above the hearth
at dusk she gazed afar
he would not return from the vineyard
maybe he was down the docks chatting
sniffing tobacco
“America is far away
and I am not crossing the water”
she used to say to herself
the country bride with her bodice and knife
at night she yearned
kissed the children
said her rosary
tossed a shoe at the cricket
year after year the dollars arrived
then the thread was broken
the sickle severed bride from groom
and silence reigned
26th July 2007
from the Anthology Una lettera al mondo,
edited by D. Giancane,
Besa, Nardò 2008
Translated by Janet Mary Wing
to Tommaso Pedio
I have the energy of the South
the stubbornness of she who has given birth in the fields
and struggled with the boss
hardship has not defeated me
I have blended honey and bile
drawn from the earth
I am a brigand and a skylark
I sing and curse fools
in me an ocean of pride
around the Murgia the cathedrals the Lauras
the hills the castles the forests
rage and sweetness vie for me
I am olive and oak
gorse rooted to the coast
27 August 2010
from Casa de piatrǎ/La casa di pietra (The house of stone),
Editura Tracus Arte, Bucarest 2014
Translated by Mary V. C. Pragnell
to Dario Fo
a casket of curiosities
is my page
crossed by underground rivers
in the morning
I find sand from the desert
and the footprints of extinct animals
if the fish rise
words overflow
and I am gripped by trembles
one night I saw
the girl with the pearl earring
and the Virgin of the rocks
the scream by Munch
overwhelms me
and I am lost
23 January 2014
from the Anthology Hic sunt leones, edited by I. Pozzoni,
Limina Mentis, Villasanta, MB, 2015
Translated by Mary V. C. Pragnell

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