Quote of the Day

more Quotes

22 December 2010

The extraordinary poet

"I wake up in great shape and then people deform me."
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.edu
I 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 myself
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
means nothing.
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.

I 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. 

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
I do not need money.
I need of feelings
words, words chosen wisely
flowers called thoughts,
roses called presences
dreams upon trees,
songs that make statues dance,
stars that wishper in lovers ears. 
I need poetry
this magic that burns the weight of words
that awakes emotions and gives new colors.

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?


  1. i like taking her poetry and making up my own out of them, when i have the time - sort of like a springboard

    this was a nice tribute - i love her photographs

  2. Thank you, dear. I'm glad you liked my post and that you appreciate Alda's talent. Thanks, also, for putting my blog in your Blog Roll. Is it a new one? I had a look at it and liked what I read. And your son Lucas is the cutest boy! Keep in touch!


Hi! Thanks for stopping by, your opinion counts! Feel free to express yourself xxx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...