Billy Ramsell, “credo che uno scrittore possa imparare molto dalla musica”
This summer saw the publication, in Italian translation, of my second collection, The Architect’s Dream of Winter. It was a dream come true to see this book, ably translated by Lorenzo Mari as Il sogno d’inverno dell’architetto, make its way into the world.
And I’m delighted to see it reviewed here, on the popular Poesia website, by esteemed writer and critic Giovanni Agnoloni. Mr Agnoloni has graciously translated the opening of his review, which reads as follows:
Billy Ramsell’s poetry, in this excellent collection marvellously translated into Italian by Lorenzo Mari (who is also the editor of the series of books “L’altra lingua”), proceeds on a bordering territory consisting of several splinters of contemporary world, projected onto the stylistic level and, mostly, onto that of contents. It is a fragmented and syncopated chant of a modernity filled with technology, a reflection of a world broken up in numberless facets, but also produced by the re-elaboration of the legacy of the great Twentieth century masters of Irish poetry (above all, William Butler Yeats). Their contemplative spirit breathes here, filtered by the author’s sensitivity, through gashes opened onto metropolitan solitudes soaked with jazz notes or hurlers’ movements, with their loose solfeggio and rattling sticks beating the time of a totally intimate prosody.
Billy Ramsell moves around the poetical forms with ease, combining his verses with brief prose pages, through which he goes deeper into the meanders of the intrinsic paradoxes of our time. The poet seems to have interiorly recorded and then reproduced on an imaginary stave the disconnected notes of the background noise of our historical season, filled with often-aborted attempts of computerised communication, but also with lyrical outbursts that seem to consume their intensity right upon being conceived. And not for a limit of their own, but because even regret and lyrical yearnings are luxury, when everything around proceeds so fast. Yet, that brief moment remains, emitting, in its quasi-instantaneousness, a longing for eternity that tends to persist, at least in intimate memories, as the effect of a music interpretation lasting – in the external world – just the time of a performance.
The full text, in Italian, along with an interview Mr Agnoloni conducted with me during his recent trip to Ireland, can be found here. My thanks to Giovanni, to Luigia Sorrentino, curator of the Poesia site and, as always, to my translator Lorenzo Mari.