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by Amelia Rosselli
Translated from Italian by
Diana Thow

Fallen snowflakes serve

as a wish for a lightless life, and
their dance is all a farce, because
we haven’t lit the lights.

Evil seeps below arduous
fountains, strong with its strong ambition,
like the wind it moves mouthfuls of snow.

Wisdom is rigor mortis . . . rigging
the game is safer than this squallish
state of being lost and found along the roads of
reason . . . .

The snowy sky is immobile as if warning against
a grand immobile servitude. The
snow has nearly stopped hoping.

Amelia Rosselli was an Italian poet. Influenced by writers such as Giuseppe Ungaretti, Cesare Pavese, Sandro Penna, and Eugenio Montale, Rosselli, by the late 1950s, was already writing some the work included in her two major early books, Variazioni belliche (1964, War Variations, 2003) and Serie ospedaliera, which were championed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and others. Her extraordinary, highly experimental literary output includes verse and prose in English and French as well as Italian.
Diana Thow began translating Italian poetry while studying in Rome her junior year abroad, and moved to Iowa to pursue an MFA in literary translation in 2006 as an Iowa Arts Fellow, finishing her MFA with a thesis on the poet Amelia Rosselli. She has published translations in eXchanges, Carte Italiane, Mare Nostrum, 91st Meridian, and elsewhere. She is currently a PhD student at University of California Berkeley.