John Ashbery, “Autoritratto entro uno specchio convesso”

John Ashbery

Primo poeta americano a vedere da vivo la propria opera raccolta e pubblicata dalla Library of America, John Ashbery è stato riconosciuto maestro della generazione che ha esordito intorno agli anni Settanta. Nel 1975 con Autoritratto entro uno specchio convesso ha ottenuto i tre più prestigiosi premi poetici degli Stati Uniti  presentando al pubblico un canzoniere complesso ed entusiasmante, evocativo, spesso onirico, ricco di riferimenti enciclopedici e reinvenzioni continue. La raccolta più incisiva del più importante poeta americano degli ultimi Cinquant’anni viene qui presentata nella traduzione di Damiano Abeni.


I tried each thing, only some were immortal and free.
Elsewhere we are as sitting in a place where sunlight
Filters down, a little at a time,
Waiting for someone to come. Harsh words are spoken,
As the sun yellows the green of the maple tree…

So this was all, but obscurely
I felt the stirrings of new breath in the pages
Which all winter long had smelled like an old
New sentences were starting up. But the summer
Was well along, not yet past the mid-point
But full and dark with the promise of that fullness,
That time when one can no longer wander away
And even the least attentive fall silent
To watch the thing that is prepared to happen.

A look of glass stops you
And you walk on shaken: was I the perceived?
Did they notice me, this time, as I am,
Or is it postponed again? The children
Still at their games, clouds that arise with a swift
Impatience in the afternoon sky, then dissipate
As limpid, dense twilight comes.
Only in that tooting of a horn
Down there, for a moment, I thought Continua a leggere