Sunday, March 21, 2010


To honour this day, here is an article of mine which was published in Italy Magazine on Thursday:

Alda Merini - A Gift of Love

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Alda Merini, who died on 1st November last year, was one of Italy’s best loved poets and now her four daughters have created a new website in memory of their mother, who would have been 79 on March 21st.

The website is extremely user-friendly and even if you do not know much Italian, you’ll be able to enjoy photos and paintings of Merini, videos, poems, aphorisms, publication lists and the Tuscan singer Giovanni Nuti singing the poem “L’albatros”.

Merini’s daughters, Emanuela, Barbara, Flavia and Simona tell the story of their mother with touching candour and write of their own pain and confusion at being separated from her during Merini’s long periods of depression. Merini in fact advised them not to admit to being the daughters of “that madwoman”. Although their relationship with their mother was complicated and often sad, Merini’s daughters show their love for her with this gift.

March 21st is also, appropriately, World Poetry Day and this year in Milan the event will be dedicated to Merini. A plaque will be unveiled at Merini’s home at via Ripe di Porta Ticinese 47 at 15.30 on Sunday. The plaque will read,

“Ad Alda Merini. Nell’intimità dei misteri del mondo.” [“To Alda Merini. In communion with the mysteries of the world.”]

At 16.00 on Sunday at Santa Maria delle Grazie al Naviglio the actress Valentina Cortese will read from Merini’s “Magnificat, un incontro con Maria”. At 21.00 there will be a recital of Merini’s poems at the Teatro Dal Verme.Entrance is free but booking is advised via

The new Alda Merini site is still being developed and its creators intend to add an interactive section and a newsletter to which readers can subscribe.

Also in honour of the day, I am happy to be able to publish a new Antonio Lonardo poem here:


Ha voluto guidare,
sempre, la propria vita
nei tortuosi meandri
dell’incerta quotidianità
nella ricerca della luce.

Ha inseguito i numerosi
segreti, perennemente vibrati
dalla misteriosa clessidra
e ne ha scoperto il percorso
diventato luminoso.

Ha combattuto la paura,
appostata negli appuntiti
angoli d’inattese difficoltà
ed ha seguito il volo dei gabbiani,
scortati da amici delfini.

…Fino all’ultimo orizzonte…


He always wanted to steer
his own life
in the tortuous labyrinths
of daily doubt
in search of light.

He pursued abundant
secrets, endlessly rippling
in the mysterious hourglass
and he found
a luminous journey.

He fought fear,
as it waited on the jagged
corners of unlooked-for hardship
and he followed the flight of gulls
guided by their friends the dolphins.

... As far as the last horizon...

[My translation]

Thank you, Antonio and Happy World Poetry Day!

You can read other posts about World Poetry Day by clicking here.


James Higham said...

[I love the way you have your google ad plastered across the text on the left, Welshcakes.]

What percentage of the population in Italy would read poetry, would you say?

Whispering Walls said...


Gledwood said...

Do you have any positive feelings for Berlusconi?... or non?

I saw a documentary on him the other day and can understand now why the Italians go so crazy about him... a bit like Margaret Thatcher or Alexandr Putin... people love a strong leader. It makes them feel secure ...

Anonymous said...

I have also written an award winning poem for Poetry Day! It is similar to these.... ahem...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, james. They are not across the text in my browser or in another with which I looked today. I accept the advertising on fotoglif pictures because it is often the only source of free images. Given the number of poetry competitions here and the number of poetry books by self-publishers on sale, I would guess a lot of people. But I'll ask a man who knows.
Thanks, WW.
Hi, Gleds. Not really but I can see his attraction for some. His flamboyance also appeals to a certain instinct for joy in Italians.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Mutley. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Sean Jeating is blaming you for him losing a month of life - take a look at his blog post of today (23rd March - tho he reckons 23rd April) and the ensuing comments. I don't quite understand how he feels it is all your fault; but perhaps you will (though I doubt it)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Andrew. Good lord! What have I done to him? Off to have a look now....

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Haha! I see now, Andrew. Well, I think I do. Thanks for the alert!


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