This is one of the quotes of Alda Merini that I find memorable. People have this ability to mess you up if you let them, it's true. Nobody like her knew more. She lived a tormented life, visiting the darkest and saddest places of human life, asylum, but never stopping drawing beauty and poetry from her history of suffering and marginalization.
For her, the bad part of life was to be accepted. I heard her say on TV that life speaks and that we neeed to let it talk and listen to it. Thus, we better not discuss which side the evil comes from, so that it can turn into a hot outfit, and then poetry for some of us. Only in this way the subject becomes fire, fire of love for others.
I tenderly loved some very sweet lovers
without them knowing anything about.
And I wove spiderwebs from this
and I always feel prey to my own creation.
In me there was the soul of the prostitute
of the saint of the one who lusts for.
Many people gave a label to my way of life
and all that while I was only an hysteric
- via princeton.eduI have great difficulty in accepting things as they are. And even if I understand why it is, I don't embrace it. Reading Alda's poetry helped me to understand things are only negative if you see it as negative. If you judge it as bad. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Someone so universally recognized like Shakespeare quoted the same concept before (in Hamlet, by the way), then the root of unhappiness isn't necessarly that we want things to be different. It's that we decided we don't like it in the first place.
I often repeat to myselfI like Alda's poems because they're so confessional but mengled with history and myth at the same time. From the teen years writing mature poems and dating older poets to the convenient marriage, passing through different internments in mental hospitals, she always had this profund sense of her place in the world. And this probably saved her from madness or suicide.
that I should live with memories
only when I'l have a few days left.
The past is a string that
tightens the throat of my mind
and takes my energies away.
The past is just smoke
of those who haven't lived.
What I have already seen
The past and the future
are not reality but only fleeting illusions.
I have to get rid of time
and live the present because it doesn't exist other
than this wonderful moment.
What I also like about her is that fame didn't shake her. She lived in her usual house, messy and chaotic. She didn't care much to live as normal. Her presence and her life were the essence of her poetry.
View more pics of her house
Alda passed away last year, at 78, after a long battle with cancer. She's probaby enjoying herself in hell now, as she used to say “I don’t like paradise as they probably don’t have obsessions there” (Aphorisms). In 2004 she asked for a “hot man” as a seventy-third birthday present. She got, and enjoyed, a visit from a stripper Ghibly. Now, isn't this living coherently until the end?
I do not need money.I need of feelingswords, words chosen wiselyflowers called thoughts,roses called presencesdreams upon trees,songs that make statues dance,stars that wishper in lovers ears.I need poetrythis magic that burns the weight of wordsthat awakes emotions and gives new colors.