Valentina Colonna

Valentina Colonna - photo © Daniele Ferroni

Valentina Colonna was born in Turin in 1990. She has published three poetry books: “Dimenticato suono” (Manni), ”La cadenza sospesa” (Aragno, 2015), released in Argentina for Buenos Aires Poetry in 2020, and “Stanze di città e altri viaggi” (Aragno, 2019). Her texts have been translated into sixteen countries and she has been a guest at several international festivals. Since 2016 she has been promoted by Versopolis, a European poetry platform supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union. As a pianist, she specialised, after her Master’s degree in Piano, in the baroque repertoire, earning a master’s degree in Early Music at ESMUC/UAB of Barcelona. As a pianist-composer, she has three piano singles to her credit with her own compositions (NCM/Egea/Machiavelli). Ph.D. (Doctor Europaeus) in Digital Humanities at the Universities of Genoa and Turin, she is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Granada.

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The sea never stops breathing

The sea never stops breathing.
It seems distantly still, but anchored
at its bottom, it continues to move and it walks
for thousands of miles fragmented in moments.

It stands still and breaks at the bank of a cemetery,
where graves change
in precarious balance, before

Its sound never stops its motion.
To sleep, it lives of crumbs.

Turin’s avenues

Turin’s avenues
beginning of February when
the sun is warm, and yet,
plants cry.

Here in Sabotino square
the number fifteen orange tram is covered
by the dust of workers’ time,
of the old Lancia plant you know
it is a forsaken life
– with broken pink-blue glasses
that I stopped to console.

We return to the village, where
up the stairs, childhood reminds us
of the yellow smoke in the house, the tape
records sneaking through the door
to a bedroom to jump on a bed
on bed frames in front of the mirror
in that wardrobe full of

I spend every Monday suspending
my mind on tram cables and with every noise
I feel that your eyes
are looking down at the ground.
For years this tram has been connecting
the neighborhoods of our passages.
It got stuck at each stop
along the way on wet tracks
and yet it endures despite snow:
its clanking
has always held us, exhaustedly

Tonight Barcelona is a sleepy town

Tonight Barcelona is a sleepy town.
Hands are more naked
than cold and their smell reminds
of embers but the windows
fill the streets of March.
A dog’s shadow rises in silence
next to you driving,
while you can still hear the sea
from the back of some kitchen.

Tonight, like last night,
Barcelona is like stretched pincers
rummaging garbage bins
to fill a cart.
It is the time of worn out tools
stolen from nowhere and nobody.
The empty can clangs against
beds’ wheels. Like stretchers
they travel to save sleep.

While the ship of the dead passes

While the ship of the dead passes
the Mediterranean sea and sinks in it
I am vanishing silently.

I vanish slowly under my breath.

Grass is dying with dignity and I tip over
on the next stem. A yellow buttercup,
a single red violet, a wild-flower
when spring is at war.

I am a foam suspended among flowers
a growing violet, which I cannot name
as in this deficiency
every stay is absence.
The most lively absence of you holding me
in strong wind.

© Translation from Italian, Paweł Sakowski

Published with the permission of Valentina Colonna & Paweł Sakowski
photo © Daniele Ferroni