The poetry of darkness



In 1997 a collection of poetic texts by Alceo Poltronieri was published posthumously.
While his painting was already well known during his life, the poetic production - previously reserved only to a few close friends and relatives - was popularized only after his passing.

The published texts come from a folder that contains typewritten sheets referable to the 1950s and from two handwritten notebooks in which the author had collected poems from different years, between the 1960s and 1980s.


that you lie in the arms
of the old
do not say:
poor my soul.

From the hate

I heard
to call
out loud
and shoot
and chase each other
along the avenues.

The lion attacks the gazelle

The lion attacks the gazelle.
The swallow catches the insect.
The hurricane weed out the plant.
And the man goes around the earth with his rifle drawn.

The lion ate the thigh.
Gazelles drink on the river bank.
The swallow goes back under the frame of the house.
And the man goes around the earth with his rifle drawn.

The beasts are scared.
The sun sets.
The man lights the torches and chases the beasts.
The hooves of the gazelles deaf in the dust.

And I feel the shots, the sulfur, the shame.
And I hear the roars of beasts in the song of men
and I feel the smell of beasts in the bodies of children.
Until the sun on the horizon drowns.

The rifle glitters on the hill
in the hands of a man.
The beasts don't sleep.

The apparition

I am immortal.
Ten ravens swooped into the garden,
the angel had gone down there.
He said: you are immortal.

I am immortal.
Ten crows wanted to rise.
Each of them became a stone
which said: you should not have been born.

And I just had to cry.

The dirt road

The hell
it is on earth
at two in the afternoon
along a country road,
while it rains.

The street
sensed the curse
attached to the feet of the old women.

It's raining now.
no foot.
Only mute trees
along the shore.

The hands

Hands open
Hands close
to catch the dream

Hands open

Hands close
to collect
distant past,
to collect
where the sun returns
to bring you more

Cruel hour

at the windows of the church.
You will hear the immense
silence of nothing
between the crackle
of a few lit candles
and the creaking
of millenary statues.

My brothers are sleeping.

Terrible hour

Here we go
on the tips of the earth
to smash our pitiful organs.

We will cast the soul
where we were at home.

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