Luigia Sorrentino reads from Olimpia, “Young Mount in the midst of the unknown”


The reading of Olimpia , by Luigia Sorrentino (Interline, 2013) is very striking.

It is a very strong text, not easy, as Mario Benedetti says in the afterword and far from the kind of poetry that can be read in the contemporary.

Paraphrasing Céline I could call it a ” journey to the end of the soul “, if I pass the expression, the soul of the poet who becomes a symbol and in which we reflect, inevitably, coming from her led to her discovery. And this is the beauty of the poem: you feel part of the journey that the author takes to find the essence of poetry. His verses involve breathlessly and never leave indifferent. An imaginative, powerful poem, rich in metaphors, without ever winking at easy sentimentality, allows her to write a quatrain like:

“It is the dying I see
the fainting, this
sudden jamming of the breath
while we let down our doing ”
that in itself could stand alone as a poem, with the lightness and intensity of those who do not fear the emotion that can arouse (and that has aroused in me).

In the section “Hyperion, the Fall” (A Dream), the first verse of Chorus 2, ” there is an archaic night in each of us “, seems to warn the reader about the reasons for the trip and, again, involves it. It is a complex text, where the pieces in prose have no less poetic value than the poems that mainly compose it: post stations, where the spirit finds a pause and reflects as aloud: ” The first time I saw it was pale. […] Bianca was her, and I with her waiting and completing herself at the same time. “Prose-poetry.


It is an initiatory path that the author manages to express in her verses in an unpredictable way (peculiarity of the poetic language), to stage it, as an exclusive show for the reader, who travels with her: in this text Luigia Sorrentino seems to take it for hand, from piece to piece, giving him the image of his inner world; surprises at every page his visionaryness, his see-through and his sharing of all this; which is then the purpose of the poem which, if it fails in this, remains a talking to one another, an exercise in fashion.


The classical culture, in which the poem is immersed, is made current with the modernity of language, which is absolutely not to be taken for granted: the temptation to imitate, even unconsciously, ancient or antique models and styles is always present in these cases in modern poets; instead we immediately realize, reading it, of its freshness: nothing already seen or heard.
The incipit of the poem is impressive, it is worth to report it in full:


” She was there
it was not the same anymore
the face bleached in the intangible
nothing more belonged to her
he turned to another that offended him
in the monster monstrous in the distance
she was a closed breath
everything was in itself full, attached
on the walls, she was now r adice “.


After reading this “beginning”, I challenge anyone to close the book before having finished it in one breath. But the beauty of Olimpia is that its rereading always offers new keys. Like an inexhaustible story, of those you love because you know that in the end they do not end.