Zingara Poetry Picks: The Shadow by Carlo Betocchi

In order to celebrate my love of poetry and ensure that I have plenty of it available to read, I subscribe to many periodicals of both the physical and electronic varieties. Sometimes when reading these periodicals and email subscriptions, I discover a poem that is, in my subjective opinion,  beautiful. Other times I am intrigued by a  poem’s complexity and marvel at its mystery. When I find such poetry, I want to share it with the world, and say “Hey! Look at this great poem!” Whether or not the poem resonates with another person is not within my power, but the possibility that it will is thrilling, as is the way disconnection evaporates when kindred souls recognize each other through a poem. In any case, blogging allows me not only to share the poem but to promote quality poetry while discovering, or rediscovering, great poets.

Here, then, to share my love and fascination with poetry is the first of many future installments of “Lisa’s Poetry Picks.” I don’t intend at this stage to explicate or comment over-much on any of this poetry, though I suspect some poems I post will insist on some response from me. That is, I might share whatever it is about the poem that drew me to it and caused me to want replicate here. Above all, I wish to fully appreciate each poem as well as its poet. Please feel free to make comments and constructive observations about these poems if so moved.

From the March 2010 issue of the “Poetry Foundation’s” Poetry magazine:

The Shadow
by Carlo Betocchi

One spring day I saw
the shadow of a strawberry tree
lying on the moor
like a shy lamb asleep.

Its heart was far away,
suspended in the sky,
brown in a brown veil,
in the sun’s eye.

The shadow played in the wind,
moving there alone
to make the tree content.
Here and there it shone.

It knew no pain, no haste,
wanting only to feel morning,
then noon, then the slow-paced
journey of evening.

Among all the shadows always
joining eternal shadow,
shrouding the earth in falseness,
I love this steady shadow.
And thus, at times, it descends

among us, this meek semblance,
and lies down, as if drained,
in grass and in patience.

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