At the Margins of Dominion: The Poetry of Amelia Rosselli

by Nelson Moe, Amelia Rosselli
Citation
Title:
At the Margins of Dominion: The Poetry of Amelia Rosselli
Author:
Nelson Moe, Amelia Rosselli
Year: 
1992
Publication: 
Italica
Volume: 
69
Issue: 
2
Start Page: 
177
End Page: 
197
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Language: 
English
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Abstract:

At the Margins of Dominion:
The Poetry of Amelia Rosselli

. . .lussureggiante oasi fiorita con la stupefacente e casuale violenza del dato di fatto, ai margini del dominio.

-Pier Paolo Pasolini

ver the past three decades Italian poets and critics who have turned their attention to the poetry of Amelia Rosselli have stressed its importance in the context of postwar Italian p0etry.l Dis- cussions of her worlz repeatedly mention the singular nature of her poetry, along with such variant adjectives as solitary, unique, anom- a10us.~In stressing the singularity and anomalousness of Rosselli's poetry these critics attest to an experience of critical disorientation that signals her poetry's deviation from familiar categories and its al- terity to the current "canons," in a word, its difference. What these responses to Rosselli's poetry suggest is that some of Italy's most as- tute and authoritative poets and critics have had difficulty in situat- ing her work in relation to other texts and literary tendencies, map- ping out affiliations and tracing influences.

In the present essay I will address the difference, or differences, that constitute Rosselli's poetic production with respect to so much of postwar Italian poetry. I will not, however, undertake an extensive cataloguing of "stylemes," or a tracing of poetic influence^.^ I will ask, rather, in somewhat more socio-cultural, and biographical terms, how such a body of texts has come into being and what basic social structures and histories have contributed to their formation. I will ar- gue that what distinguishes Rosselli's worlz from that of other Italian poets is its particular engagement in and negotiation of the power re- lations operant in contemporary capitalist society. This engagement and negotiation in processes of dominion, moreover, worlz at every level of Rosselli's texts and have their origins in her unique personal history as the daughter of the assassinated anti-fascist leader Carlo Rosselli. In the first part of the essay I will consider the paradox of a poetry practiced as war, while, in the second, I will examine certain questions related to Rosselli's alterity to the discourse of Italian po- etry.

Poetry is a continuation of war bv other means.

-Clausewitz revisited

With the title of her first volume of poetry, Variazioni belliche, Amelia Rosselli signals the tumult, conflictuality and violence that will mark the greater part of her poetic production. Rosselli begins her po- etic career, then, under the sign of war, something which immedi- ately distinguishes her from the poetic tradition preceding and sur- rounding her. For, while the poetry of the Italian Novecento has been many things, it has not been, in the main, bellicose.'

But what does it mean to speak of a poetic text -and of Rosselli's in particular -as bellicose, conflictual, agonic? In general we can see the "passion for combat" which Giovanni Giudici observes in Rossel- li's poetry working at two basic, and fundamentally inseparable, lev- els: that of theme or content; and that of poetic language and form. From the thematic perspective, much of Rosselli's work presents a call to arms, a narration of combat, a "war story." From the formal perspective, much of her work performs an attack upon and an aggres- sion against the established language and forms of modern Italian po- etry.

With these suggestions in mind let us consider the following poem from Variazioni belliche.

Contiamo infiniti cadaveri. Siamo l'ultima specie umana.
Siamo il cadavere che flotta putrefatto su della sua passione!
La calma non mi nutriva il sol-leone era il mio desiderio.
I1 mio pio desiderio era di vincere la battaglia, il male,
la tristezza, le fandonie, l'incoscienza, la pluralita
dei mali le fandonie le incoscienze le somministrazioni
d'ogni male, d'ogni bene, d'ogni battaglia, d'ogni dovere
d'ogni fandonia: la crudelta a parte il gioco riposto attraverso
il filtro dell'incoscienza. Amore amore che cadi e giaci
supino la tua stella e la mia dimora.

Caduta sulla linea di battaglia. La bonta era un ritornello

che non mi fregava ma ero fregata da essa! La linea della

demarcazione tra poveri e ricchi.

(Vuriuzioni belliche, 45)'

This poem's thematics clearly jibe with the thematics of war sug- gested by the volume's title. The war in question, however, is not en- tirely recognizable. It does not involve an objective scene of battle, and even less does it delineate a set of opponents fighting against one another. Rather, battle, and its related objects (nouns) and actions (verbs)-corpses, cruelty, winning, falling -become in this poem modes of being, modes which belong to a subject which, while begin- ning as a collective "we," somehow evolves into the first-person sin- gular.

If the spatial lay-out for a battle scene is lacking, equally absent from the poem is any temporal development in the fight. The poem begins, in fact, already at the end of some conflict, with the call to count infinite corpses. The collective subject at the beginning of the poem is itself "the corpse which floats putrified on its passion." And in fact what remains of this conflict, of this corpse, is desire -the de- sire "to win the battle" (and conquer "evil, sadness, lies, unconscious- ness," etc.). No linear temporality can comprehend this strange cir- cularity whereby the corpse seems to be both the result of battle and also the object which is enveloped by the passion which in some way gives rise to the battle which was its undoing.

The subject of the poem (oscillating between the collective and the single) is thus a casualty of the battle, "fallen on the battle-line," a corpse, but also a subject desiring combat, a subject-in-combat, desir- ing to "win the battle." The central lines of the poem enunciate this desire. But desire itself seems implicated in this defeat, at least insofar as desire and love exist in relation to one another in the poem: ". . . Amore amore che cadi e giacilsupino la tua stella e la mia dimora."

The combat traced above at a thematic level operates equally within the language of the poem itself: at the level of syntax and se- mantics. That is, Amelia Rosselli's poetry does not merely talk about combat; her texts enact a fight with and within language. Pier Vin- cenzo Mengaldo describes this linguistic combat in terms of an op- eration of "disaggregative aggression." According to Mengaldo, Rosselli's poetic language is a "blatantly deviant" one, which, "fra lapsus, barbarismi e innovazioni calcolate, perverte -0 semplicemente ignora- la norma scritta (e orale) italiana a tutti i livelli, grafia e morfologia, sintassi e lessico . . ." (Mengaldo, 994).

In the poem cited above we find traces of the operation described by Mengaldo, even if they are present here in smaller doses than in certain other of Rosselli's poems. We find, for example, the unusual combination of these two consecutive prepositions ("su della suapas- sione!"); the combination of two independent clauses unseparated by punctuation marlzs ("La calma non mi nutriva il sol-leone era il mio desiderio"). And if we consider the syntax of these lines -"d'ogni fan- donia: la crudelta a parte il gioco riposto attraversolil filtro dell'incoscienza" -we can see that the relationship between what precedes and follows the colon is extremely vague. Compounding this ambiguity of relation is the opacity of the second phrase in the pair: "la crudelta a parte il gioco riposto attraversolil filtro dell'inco- scienza."

More generally, in this poem numerous connections are missing, not only at the level of logic and syntax within individual sentences, but also in the extended linkage between sentences and between the propositions that they more or less explicitly contain. Missing con- nections and subordinations whose result is sometimes a non-sense, a contradiction or "short-circuit" of sense, as more than one critic has put it: the subject "we" is called upon to count corpses, and is, itself, a corpse. Even the simple fact that the relationship between "we" and ''1" is indeterminate creates considerable semantic instability within the text. At best we could say that the poem begins with a certain col- lective "chorality," an enunciation of "the final human species"; and that within this collective destiny, the drama of the single warring ''I" takes place.

Before going any further in this analysis we would do well to broach a certain, basic question: that is, what is war doing in poetry! Especially in the twentieth-century Italian lyric? And if war is the violent clashing of social antagonisms, just what are the antagonisms at hand, and how does a poet come to produce poetry out of them?

We can begin to answer this question by considering the relation- ship of "public" and "private" as they are articulated in Rosselli's worlz. When Rosselli writes, "credevolnel lento pellegrinaggio ad un pubblico e anche privatissimoldibattito" (Documento,137), she suc- cinctly expresses the continual confusion of public and private run- ning throughout her worlz. Her poetry counters the traditional view of lyric poetry as the exclusive precinct for the intimate matters of the heart and soul, separate from the "public" world of politics and commerce: "Difendo i lavoratorildifendo il loro pane a dentilstretti . . .I1 (Impromptu,6);"Tento un mercato -poi ne tento un altro" (Documento, 185)) and "La mia vita privata e un best-seller" (Documento, 1141.

What is most significant about this contamination of public and private, however, is not their juxtaposition in a poem, but the degree to which in a given phrase, image, or expression the difference be- tween the two orders is wholly undone. There is no love, passion, in- timacy, imagination- the private charms of the sovereign bourgeois subject -outside of politics, commerce, and industry, as the follow- ing pairs suggest: "un industriale amare"; "petrolifera immagina- zione" (Serie ospedaliera, 33;62).And if these combinations have the power to startle us, to strike us as oxymorons, it is only because bour- geois society has succeeded in convincing us that they exist in isola- tion from one another.

The existential conditions which Rosselli's poetry represents are fundamentally ones of justice and injustice, wealth and poverty, dom- inance and submission -in short of oppositionality and antagonism, whose natural result is violent conflict. And just as the manifold so- cial and economic conditions of life in advanced capitalist society merge with the intimate matters of the heart in her worlz, so the vi- olent oppositions in this society become part of these same passions. To put it most succinctly, Rosselli's love poetry is at the same time war poetry. The "passion for combat" and passion for love expressed in them are indistinguishable, as these phrases suggest: "I1 mio cuorele una raffica di mitra"; "la linea gotica del tuo sentimento" (Appunti sparsi e persi, 138; 123).6

Yet we need to go a step further in our description of Rosselli's worlz as combative poetry, for it is essential to understand it not so much as war poetry- say, like that of Siegried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, which thematizes war and violent conflict -but as warring poetry, poetry as a continuation of war by other means.

In Rosselli, the same "disaggregative" force which breaks down the distinction between public and private, also breaks down the regi- mentation of the tasks and activities proper to given vocations as they are constituted and institutionalized in contemporary society-in other words the division of labor. A condition that could be roughly expressed with the formula: politicians do politics; soldiers fight; po- ets write poetry.

A good deal of the power and drama of Rosselli's poetry derive from the fact that it breaks down this regimentation, taking on the worlz of the combatant:

Contiamo infiniti morti! la danza i: quasi finita! la morte,
lo scoppio, la rondinella che giace ferita a1 suolo, la malattia,
e il disagio, la poverta e il demonio sono le mie cassette
dinamitarde.

(Variazioni belliche, 46)

As in any conflict, the tables can be easily turned:

Ma la
pece, il nero, la grandine, le sfuriate, la rivolta, la
cannonata, il paese fuori di st- controllava ogni mia mossa.

(Variazioni belliche, 49)

And, as we shall see later, the poetic act, even when conceived as mu- sical composition, is itself bellicose: "I1 sol fa mi do di tutte le tue battaglie" (Variazioni belliche, 69);words thus becoming weapons: "mitragliata da un fiume di parole" (Serie ospedaliera, 54).

These citations suggest the harm that can be done with words, the agonic nature of textual production, and the perils inherent in the po- etic act. And they suggest the volatility of this specifically poetic form of combat. For what emerges from Rosselli's poetry is the extraordi- nary instability of power relations. Dominance may be instantly transformed into submission at any moment, the two states sliding into one another in continual confusion.

Yet the agonic play of dominion in Rosselli's work is even more uncertain than this. For at least in a conventional conflict one can de- cide which side one wants to be on and, furthermore, remain certain of the desire to prevail. In Rosselli's poetry, instead, not only are the positions of victor and vanquished continually reversed, but what is also at issue is desire itself, whether one desires to be victor or van- quished: "Se mai nella mia mente nacque il desiderio/dlessere io stessa vittima e carnefice" (Documento,29).

The war, the violence, the antagonisms seem, therefore, to be in- timately connected to the poetic process. There the writing subject is engaged in such a way as to make it difficult, if not impossible, to "talze sides," to take up a definite position against a concrete enemy. This indecision resonates, as we saw, in the poem that begins "Con- tiamo infiniti morti!," where the "dividing line between rich and poor" is suspended in a kind of subjectless limbo. That is, this line has a certain, objective existence-it is in fact "the bottom line" -, but the writing subject's relationship to it is vague and changeable.

This fact, that the field of poetry is, no matter how embattled, not the ground on which concrete enemies can be defeated and victories scored, suggests the paradox which lies at the heart of Rosselli's poetic struggle. It is a paradox which involves the ethico-political impulse in poetry generally (the impulse towards world-transformative praxis) but which in this case talzes a specifically "modern" form, the form of what Pier Vincenzo Mengaldo describes as the "modern lyric":

. . . la "lirica moderna" [intesa] come espressione del process0 per cui capitalism0 e societa borghese hanno violentemente emarginato, e privatizzato, la poesia, riducendone la funzione socialmente attiva e nello stesso tempo mantenendola, nella mancata ripartizione equa dei ruoli, un posto apparentementeprivilegiato. Che e quanto a dire il pro- dotto di una societa la quale di fatto distrugge religione e morale, ma non la religiosita e il senso del sacro, che la poesia si trova tanto piu ad ereditare e incarnare. . . quanto pih essi sono sottratti all'ambito lor0 proprio dell'eticita sociale e si ritirano dalla sfera della participazione comunitaria a quella dell'individuo isolate.'

Rosselli writes her poetry, then, within the horizon of poetry's "with- drawl from the sphere of communal participation." She writes, if you will, from among the ruins of that civic "mandate" described by Franco Fortini in which anti-fascist writers found a "socially active function" and whose decline Fortini locates in the late 1950s, the years of Rosselli's first poetic production."

In Rosselli's case, this sense of the writer's lost mandate, of her lost civic function, also has a specifically personal dimension, which is essential to her work. That is, her poetry is written in the memory of her father, the murdered anti-fascist leader, Carlo, and of his social activism; in the memory of a childhood in which concrete socio- political conflicts held sway and claimedrealvictims. It is against this background that I think we may also understand Rosselli's comment in a recent interview that "poets were once like opinion-makers and political leaders," as well as her express wish that they be reintegrated into society in such a way as to perform significant social tasks9

Rosselli, writing in the Italy of advanced capitalism, has written at the margins of that politico-economic field where the "dividing line between rich and poor" is drawn. Writing within that modern po- etic condition described by Mengaldo as one of "generale estraneita e (auto-Jemarginazione dai piani alti della storia e della cultura dove abitano Capitale e Potere, "lo Rosselli thus struggles within the space of a contradiction. This contradiction lies also in Rosselli's bourgeois origin, and her practice of a trade whose "use" has been, in the words of Fortini, "un uso di classe [che] porta le tracce talvolta ripugnanti dei suoi usufruttuari storici piu recenti, della cultura borghese e ca- pitalistica."ll This contradiction is never resolved in Rosselli's po- etry, but rather oscillates between two poles. On the one hand, her poetry bespeaks a sense of ". . . stancata dedizione a quei particolaril che non hanno presa sul mondo!/nei particolari l'orrore svaporato" [Documento,121) and the kind of resignation exemplified by the verse "credimi la battaglia non e che una semantica/rivol~zione'~

[Serie ospedaliera, 31). On the other hand, these poems express a defi- ance and combat, not lacking in self-irony: "I1 borghese non sono iol che tralappio d'un giorno alll/altro. . . . Difendo i lavoratorildifendo il lor0 pane a dentilstretti . . ." (Impromptu,17).

This apparently ineluctable contradiction is perhaps best articu- lated in the closing verses of the poem "Tento un mercato," which, while asserting the subsumption of both poetic and revolutionary ac- tivity into the "marlzet," ends with a tentative resolution:

Esitante ti riscrivi

o riiscrivi all'aristocrazia-elite dei
cervelli artistici: nessun conto in banca
ma quel minimo assicurato ti predestina
a1 forgiarsi rivoluzioni dei contenuti
e tentativi di rivoluzione nei contenuti.

(Documento, 185)

Let us now talze a closer look at the relationship between these "revolutions of contents" and "attempts at revolution within contents," in other words, at the relationship between Rosselli's "revo- lutionary" use of poetic language and her attempts at revolution within language.

11.

A poetics of alter-linguism

The space in which Rosselli wages her politico-poetic combat is the space of the "modern lyric." Let us now examine the three specific dimensions of poetic discourse in which Rosselli's poetry delivers its most powerful alterative charge. These dimensions consist in Rossel- li's relationship to the Italian lyric (as English and French writer); to the masculine lyric (as woman writer); and to the poetic lyric [as mu- sician and musicologist). Each of these relations (between a language and its others, a gender and its other, and an artistic medium and its other) merits extended attention beyond the limits of this essay. In my necessarily preliminary and partial consideration of them here, I hope at least to demonstrate their importance to Rosselli's work, and to sketch out the interdependence between them.

In Rosselli's unique and foreign use of the Italian language history and biography inscribe themselves in her poetry in a most forceful and determinant manner. Amelia Rosselli did not "happen" to be born in Paris (thus speak and write French), nor "happen" to move to England and the USA (thus speak and write English). The very kind of social conflict and violence which is the stuff of her poetry lies at the origin of her linguistic formation. She spent her childhood in Paris (1930- 1940) due to the political exile of her father, the "liberal socialist" Carlo Rosselli, who gave his life to the fight against fascism. She grew to young adulthood in the UK and US (1940-1946) after her father's murder, ordered by Mussolini. The language of her Italian poetry is thus the language of that "barbarian land" which persecuted her fa- ther and which, Rosselli reports, continues to persecute her to this day:l2

Nata a Parigi travagliata nell'epoca della nostra generazione

fallace. Giaciuta in America fra i ricchi campi dei possidenti

e dello Stato statale. Vissuta in Italia, paese barbaro. Scappata

dall'hghilterra paese di

sofisticati. Speranzosa

nelllOvest ove niente per ora cresce.

( Variazioni belliche, 461

It is in this biographical context that Mengaldo's assertion that Rosselli's "disaggregative aggression . . . has little or nothing to do with the controlled, technological experimentalism of the neo-avant- garde" should be inscribed.13 That is, Rosselli's linguistic experimen- talism and her alienation of the Italian language from itself are grounded in this personal history. Rosselli's poetry can thus be seen as bio-graphy, understood not as the writing of a life but, rather, as the life's writing, as the process by which certain historically deter- mined formations of personal experience come to structure the field of possibilities for the practice of writing.

We can bring Rosselli's specific form of bio-graphism into focus by turning to the Italian language of her poetry. Here we find that her French, English and Italian linguistic formation does not translate into a poetic "plurilinguism," which is to say the juxtaposition of one language with another in a kind of choral mode.14 The specific lan- guage of her poetry differs in fact from the truly plurilingual writing found in Rosselli's youthful "Diario in Tre Lingue" (1955-1956)) where French, English and Italian alternate with and play off one an- other.15 In her mature poetic work, instead, Italian is "always al- ready" other than itself, bearing the traces of other languages within it. The language of Rosselli's poetry thus emerges from a multi- lingual matrix without ever fully distinguishing or constituting itself (syntactically, lexically) as Italian.

Sometimes this occurs in an explicit, self-conscious manner: "Non v'e sole che non siallumiere, [e il francese e unpar terre) . . ."; at other times, it takes the form of an "anglicism" or "gallicism" en passant e.g., "E poi si adattera, alle mie cambiate contingenze, carlio ho cam- biato residenza. . ." (my emphasis). The "other" language, however, may not even exist as a language, as a discrete system, but merely as a principle of alteration and alterity: "I1 borghese non sono io che tra- lappio d'un giorno all'laltro . . ."; "Nel verso impenetravi . . ."; "Ma in me coinvenivano montagne" [my emphasis). Still, these are all somewhat local examples, and Rosselli's linguistic alteration and al- terity are more generalized, more structural, than these isolated verses might lead us to believe. They take effect at certain fundamen- tal levels of poetic discourse, at the level of syntax and of "sense." One instance appears in the striking opening lines of the first poem in Variazioni belliche, where each phrase, as well as the unfolding sequence of phrases, seems to waver between an alien, though pos- sibly decipherable, logic and what Rosselli calls "un babelare com- mosso":

Roberto, chiama la mamma, trastullantesi nel canape
bianco. Io non so
quale vuole Iddio da me, serii
intenti strappanti eternita, o il franco riso
del pupazzo appeso alla
ringhiera, ringhiera si, ringhiera no, oh

posponi la tua convinta orazione per
un babelare commosso; car le foglie secche e gialle rapiscono
il vento che le batte. Nera visione albero che tendi
a quel supremo potere (podere) ch'infatti io
ritengo sbianchi invece la terra sotto ai piedi, tu sei
la mia amante se il cielo s'oscura, e il brivido
e tuo, nell'eterna foresta. . . .

(Variazionibelliche, 7)

Rosselli, then, experiments with and alters the Italian language and the discourse of Italian poetry. But does this "revolution of con- tents," as Rosselli puts it, this revolutionary use of poetic language, in any way constitute a "revolution in contents?" Is there any form of political efficacy in this linguistic operation? According to Pier Pao- lo Pasolini, there is not. In his opinion Rosselli's alterative poetics (what he terms "lapsus in the form of lexical and grammatical error") "leave the word just as it is." '"or Pasolini, Rosselli's alter-linguism, her lapsus are "at bottom the only thing that renders this language historically, or at least currently, determinate." They are by all means political, that is "ideological," but of a liberal nature. He writes:

La Rosselli pesta la propria lingua, dunque, non con la violenza di un'al- tra lingua rivale -"altra" ideologicamente e storicamente -ma con la violenza di quella stessa lingua alienata da se attraverso un process0 di disintegrazione (musicale, direbbe l'autrice) che, in realta, la ripresenta abnorme si, ma identica a se stessa.

Rosselli's lapsus, then,

. . . lasciano la parola quella che e: semplicemente la rivelano sotto un

aspetto orrendo, di oggettivita putrefatta o ridicola. L'agonia o la morte

non mutano il mondo.

Tutto lo "spirito" della societa liberale e infatti fondato sui lapsus

come deformazione linguistica. l7

Pasolini's brilliant reading captures an essential aspect of the pol- itics of Rosselli's alter-linguism, intimately related to what we con- sidered earlier in our discussion of her warring poetics: the inability to set up a "rival" against which to combatj the implosive force of this poetry's violence. And yet there is another level of Rosselli's po- etry which Pasolini does not consider, and at which her texts seem to have a specific form of political efficacy: that is to say, their fem- inine effectivity within the ~nasculinediscourse of Italian poetry.

Few traditions of modern poetry are more thoroughly male- dominated than the Italian one. A survey of major anthologies of po- etry in the first three-quarters of this century reveals that not one con- tains a female poet. Rosselli's inclusion in Mengaldo's Poeti italiani del Novecento published by Mondadori is thus an event of consider- able significance in the history of modern Italian literature (or at least in the sub-category of this history which we might call "the making of Italian 'literature,' " the critical construction of which texts and which authors "make it"). Rosselli is indeed the first female Italian poet to be widely recognized among "i grandi."

As I suggested at the beginning of this essay, the recurrent critical topos concerning Rosselli was that of her singularity and difference. It is now time to set forth a hypothesis regarding the sexual basis of this difference. For if, as we saw above, Rosselli writes in the margins of dominion of contemporary capitalist society as a poet, then as a female poet she is doubly marginalized, writing in the margins of sex- ual dominion within the discourse of Italian poetry.18

Whatever else one might say about Rosselli's poetry in relation to the masculine Italian tradition, one simple "grammatical" fact is loaded with significance: what we might call, by way of a feminist appropriation of Carlo Dossi, la desinenza in "a7'l"the ending of participles and adjectives which indicates the feminine gender of the writing subject. Whatever spiritual and epistemological crises the subjects (the "io poetanti") of Italian poetry have gone through over the past century and half, and whatever tumults have occurred in the elaboration of new poetic forms, the masculine grammatical io (and its appurtenant desinenze) has remained unshaken. From Leopardi through Montale to Pagliarani, woman has endured as the quintes- sential object of poetic discourse, the addressee, the evoked one, whether as tu: "Silvia, rimembri ancoraIQue1 tempo della tua vita mortale . . ."; "Esterina, i vent'anni ti minaccianolgrigiorosea nube . . ."; or as lei- "Carla Dondi fu Ambrogio . ../Sfe lavata nel bagno e poi nel lettols'k accarezzata tutta quella sera. . . ."20

Perhaps today we may begin to appreciate the importance of such lines as "Stesa a terra pugnalavo il mio miglior amico" (Variazioni belliche, 44) and "Mi truccai a prete della poesialma ero morta alla vita" (Documento, 51) (my emphasis). Perhaps we can see that lines like these don't merely reflect a sociological change (the appearance of women writers on the poetry scene, the publication of women po- ets by major publishing houses) but rather a change of considerable relevance to the discourse, and practice, of Italian poetry. Though much more study will be necessary to appreciate its full effects, even at this early stage it seems clear enough that the increasing appear- ance of the feminine ending in the subject position announces a sig- nificant, if subtle and subterranean, change in the discourse of Italian poetry, one bound to affect both male and female poets, albeit in dif- ferent ways.21

La desinenza in "a" is one, pervasive aspect of Rosselli's feminine poetic practice. In one of her first, and longest, poems, "La libellula (Panegirico della Liberta)" [1958), we find a more local intervention in the text of sexual difference. Here she openly engages the problem- atic of woman as the object of male poetic discourse, reinscribing two noted female figures in the history of modern poetry-Rimbaud's Hortense, and Montale's Esterina -into her own work:

Trovate Ortensia: la sua meccanica 2 la solitudine
eiaculatoria. La sua solitudine e la meccanica
eiaculatoria. Trovate i gesti mostruosi di Ortensia:"

jSerie ospedaliera, 11)

Se i vent'a~lni ti minacciano Esterina porta
qualche filo d'erba a torcere anche a me, ed
io seria e pronta m'inchinero alle tue gonne
di sapiente fanciulla, troppo stretto il passaggio
per il tuo corpo allegro."'

[Serie ospedaliera, 151

Let us briefly consider these feminine rewritings of Rimbaud and Montale, with particular attention to that of Rimbaud. In this case Rosselli talzes a poem from Illuminations which seems to center on female masturbation, and on the strange invocation to "find" a Hortense closed within the experience of her "mecanique erotique." The poem enacts a form of textual voyeurism whose invocation in the last line could be read as an attempt to interrupt the woman's sol- itude.

In Rosselli's stanza we find that both these aspects of Rimbaud's "HI" the desperate, erotic solitude and the invocation to "find" the woman within it, are talzen to an extreme. On the one hand, Orten- sia's solitude is described in great detail; her "misery" in fact becomes fatal in Rosselli's stanza, as she "dies among the lilies, fragile and for- gotten." On the other hand the invocation to "find" her is greatly em- phasized. "Trovate Ortensia" is in fact not the closing but opening line of her text, and it is repeated (as "Trovate Ortensia" or "Cercate Ortensia") six times.

But perhaps the single most striking variation in Rosselli's text with respect to Rimbaud's is the appearance of the word "eiaculato- ria" in the first verse of the stanza. Rimbaud's "sa solitude est la meca- nique erotique" becomes in Rosselli's text "la sua solitudine e la mec- canica eiaculatoria." Rosselli's phrase, moreover, inverts the subject and predicate of Rimbaud's line when first introduced: "la sua meccanica e la colitzzdine eiaculatoria" (my emphasis]. This transforma- tion of the Rimbaudian text, and this appearance of "eiaculatoria," suggests that in Ortensia's solitary house of mirrors, so much more hermetically sealed than the indefinite space of Rimbaud's poem, one of the "spectres that populate her solitude" is a male one, is, it would seem, that of the phallus. Indeed Hortense's "mecanique Crotique," which in its generality allows for some form of feminine auto- eroticism, no matter how "monstrous" and "terrible," is wholly sup- planted in "Ortensia" by the unequivocally masculine eroticism in- dicated by "meccanica eiaculatoria." And so the beginning of the following stanza seems to build on the intrusion of masculine sexu- ality within the space of feminine solitude which "eiaculatoria" sig- nals: "Egli premeva un nuovo rapport0 di piacere,/egli correva a1 petto della donna amata" (Serie ospedaliera, 12).

Rosselli's rewriting of Montale works on a somewhat different tex- tual problematic, that of distance. Montale's poem, "Falsetto," is built upon the distance between the mundane poetic subject, noi, and the female object, Esterina, destined for theUElysian spheres." That distance is constructed, here, too, in a voyeuristic mode: "Ti guardiamo noi, della razzaldi chi rimane a terra" (Mengaldo, 534). Rosselli's text collapses this space, confusing the poetic subject and object: "I miei ventlanni/mi minacciano Esterina, con il lor0 verde disastroso . . ." (Serie ospedaliera, 15). Thus, while Montale's poem works out of a complacent and unquestioned distance between male poetic subject and female poetic object, Rosselli's involves a search for the latter by the former, an attempted integration of the two: "Te cerco su di un altro/binario .. . I1 verde soppruso del tuo miracolo e per me lalprima linea incandescente del mio cuore, la mialschiena infallibile" (Serie ospedaliera, 15).

These, then, are two of the specifically feminine ways that Rossel- li's texts operate within the masculine discourse of Italian poetry.'" Whether as the alien presence of la desinenza in "a" in the subject position, or as the reinscription of male poets' female others, Rossel- li's work delivers a sexually alterative charge to Italian poetic dis- course. We can thus see, if only in a preliminary fashion, how Rossel- li's alterative poetics are the product both of sexual difference and of the linguistic difference we discussed earlier. Moreover, though we have considered sexual and linguistic alterity separately, in her poetry they are ultimately inseparable. Indeed in future work on Rosselli I think we will need to investigate just what relationships sexual and linguistic alterity have to one another in her poetry, and how each, while determining the other, works in the overall process of textual production.

In this reading I have been concerned with the intense engagement of Amelia Rosselli's poetry with the forces of dominion at work in contemporary society, a dominion operating at every level of human existence: economically, politically, sentimentally, sexually, cultur- ally. Also implicit in this analysis is the degree to which her poetry, shot through with these very forces, does not, cannot, project a solu- tion to such social injustice. As we saw, the drama and contradiction of operating on the margins of dominion, in poetry, was to be engaged in a field where oppositions and battle lines were obscured. This is a fight, as Pasolini put it, in the absence of a distinct rival, where, in all honesty, victories cannot be surely scored.

Rosselli's poetry offers, then, a certain "dystopian" state of affairs to the reader who would seek a redemptive, engaged or progressive project in her verses. And it is in the context of this dark vision that I would lilze briefly to discuss the last question outlined at the begin- ning of this section, that is, the musical dimension of Rosselli's poetic production. Amelia Rosselli stands out among modern Italian poets for being, by vocation, a musician and a music~logist.~~his

is not so much a biographical as a poetic distinction, for Rosselli imple- ments certain principles and techniques proper to music and musical composition in the writing of her poetry. This formalizing, musical elaboration, in its tendency towards abstraction and towards a sepa- ration of the materiality of the signifier from the signified, carries with it a pursuit of universal forms which is the only kind of zztopia, or utopian vision, that Rosselli can articulate in her texts. Rosselli fashions her language according to the formal principles of music in the attempt to create a language which, in its abstraction from the specific semantic processes of a single language, would be universally apprehensible. As she writes in the essay "Spazi metrici" (1962)) "la lingua in cui scrivo e una sola, mentre la mia esperienza sonora logica e associativa e certamente quella di molti popoli, e riflettibile in molte ling~e."~~

One thus finds in her poetry an attempt to overcome, if not transcend, cultural specificity, to write in a language which is not circumscribed by those places and times where the history of do- minion unfolds but which is rather, as she puts it, "buono a ogni la- titudine." Yet the full passage in which this phrase appears suggests the difficulty -indeed "absurdity" -of this endeavor: "Ed io che mi dimetto ogni giorno dal consiglio municipale, 'mi domando se non sia possibile, in un assurdo sforzo, dimenticare quanto e intorno a me per rinchiudermi nelle alchimie di un linguaggio buono a ogni lati- tudine . . .' 'I2' As we will see below, Rosselli's poetry ultimatley re- veals the impossibility of closing oneself off and forgetting the cir- cumstances of one's existence.

Let us then look at a few of the ways this problem manifests itself in terms of music in a poem from Variazioni belliche (129):

Entro dalla cella di tutte le bonta rimava splendidamente
un acceso vocabolario: la mia noia. Entro della noia
rimava splendidamente la bonta caduca e vergine. Entro
della cella vergine di tutte le bonta cadevano gli preti
e le donzelle coi fiori arricciuti in testa: candelabro
dei patiti di vanita. Splendida vergine! Buttava un enorme
numero di soldi nel fiume. Splendida treccia dell'ingannata!
S'arrovellava per i partiti presi. Numero incognito
di delusioni: v'arrovellate per il nulla-per l'incanto
di una notte d'estate che traccia le sue radici nel cuore
del villano. Incontrollabile notte dlAgosto! Le tue villanie
sono il frutto della pesca. Pesca introvabile arriccia
il naso. Introvabile verbo che misconosci chi ti guida
l'armonia e tua.

In this poem the repetition of "Entro della . . ." in the first few lines worlzs to unite the three different phrases in one structure of repeti- tion, irrespective of their semantic content. Each succeeding phrase is, moreover, constructed with elements from the phrase that pre- cedes it. Thus the semantics of the individual phrase, taken by itself, are partially derived from "elsewhere"; they are, in other words, not so much generated by the particular syntax and logical sequence un- folding in the individual phrase as by the overall structure of repeti- tion in which the phrase is located. Words are thus mechanically im- posed upon the phrase by a foreign, repetitive, "musical" structure.

Now it may well be that this mixed structure of discourse and mu- sic, this hybrid semantic and formal motivation of the word or phrase, is what is usually referred to as the tension between content and form in poetry. And indeed the demands and pressures of abstract form are probably one of the most specifically musical aspects of poetry ingen- eral. Rosselli, however, obeys the demands of musical form to their extreme. She upsets the balance between content and form, unloosing the musical imperative in all its force. This is what Pasolini spoke of when he wrote that Rosselli's language is dominated

da qualcosa di meccanico: emulsione che prende forma per suo conto, imposseduta, come si ha l'impressione che succeda per gli esperimenti di laboratorio piu terribili, tumori, scoppi atomici, dominati solo scien- tificamente, ma non nei sintomi della terribilita, in quel loro accadere ormai oggettivo. Sicche il magma -la terribilita -e fissato in forme strofiche tanto piu chiuse e assolute quanto piu arbitrarie.28

It appears, then, that the musicality of Rosselli's poetry serves two key functions. On the one hand it constructs a utopian dimension of aesthetic experience which can transcend the historical experience of dominion, a "language good at every latitude"; on the other it al- lows the "foreign," woman poet to construct within alanguage which is not her own, a coherent, alternative and alterative system of sig- nification. A language, if you will, which is not a language. This strat- egy allows the poet to forestall the madness of being outside any one language while at the same time maintaining a relationship of alterity to it. It allows Rosselli to engage with this language and this poetic discourse on her own, perhaps more effective for being arbitrary, terms. This musical alter-linguism offers, in sum, a way of opting-out of language while working within it.

Musical alter-linguism seems, then, to be closely related to that contradiction of the modern lyric discussed above, that is of a poetry written in the absence of a "civic-mandate." The would-be civic poet, lacking a civis, -or, more precisely, the would-be political poet, lack- ing apolis, -which is to say a social space in which her textual praxis can have some effect upon the community of which she is a part, as- pires to a universal (musical) language (or, in fact, non-language) which can potentially be apprehended and appreciated by everyone and no one. Indeed, at first approach, Rosselli's most musical texts (in the sense we have stated above, concentrated for the most part in Variazioni belliche) seem not only to leave the word (and world) as it is, as Pasolini writes, but to leave the word (and world) altogether. Balanced precariously on the edge of the "sense" of a text and the "sound" of music, her musical poems tilt at times toward the latter, resolving in pure sonorities and repetitions.

And yet, no matter how musical Rosselli's poetry tends to be, it remains, in the end (or as Rosselli would say, a1 dunqzze), not music but poetry. Its materials are not notes but words; its primary charac- teristic is not melody and harmony but verbal semiosis. As we can see in the poem cited above, "Entro della cella di tutte le bonta," mu- sical alter-linguism engenders forms of linguistic and sexual alter- linguism as well. The musical, serial repetition in this poem creates unusual syntactic and discursive linkages which have determinate meanings. Out of the seemingly arbitrary corl~binatoire of remixed words and phrases comprising "splendidamente" and "cella vergine" at the beginning of the poem emerges the "splendid virgin" at the tenter, whose coexistence with priests, whose disposal of enormous numbers of coins, whose deception, evokes particular social relations tinted with religion, economics, the rites of marriage and dowry, not to mention the antagonism implicit in the act of deception. In short, Rosselli's musical alter-linguism is always contaminated with se- mantics, with meanings, which ground its words in the world-a world, ever, of social antagonisms and conflict. To put it in the terms with which we began this essay, Rosselli's music, despite its tran- scendental aspirations, is always, at some level, war music.

It would seem, then, in conclusion, that Rosselli's poetry provides us with a good deal more "historical determinateness" than Pier Pa- olo Pasolini suggests in his 1963 comment on her work. This is par- ticularly true in Rosselli's last poem to date, Impromptu. In this long poem Rosselli foregrounds the question of history, which is to say the history of dominion.

The opening line of the poem, "I1 borghese non sono io," clearly positions the poetic act within the structure of social class. I would suggest reading this unusual opening as a response and protestation to Pasolini's denial of her text's historical determinateness, as well as to his assertion that Rosselli's writing was irreducibly "liberal."2" Rosselli repeats this gesture a few stanzas later-"Difendo i lavoratorildifendo il lor0 pane a dentilstretti" -and, again, in the last lines of the poem- "E se paesanilzoppicanti sono questi versi" (my emphasis).

These three statements express three essential political moments of Rosselli's poetic performance: a stated refusal of the dominant, bourgeois class position; a stated solidarity with the dominated, working class; and, finally, and most significantly, the entanglement of the poetic act itself in this class history, in this history of dominion (modally framed by the conditional "se"). This third, conditional, statement makes a crucial move: from the poet's position in the social web to the poem's. Here the verses themselves take on the position of a victimized, disabled underclass -paesani zoppicanti. They sug- gest that the politics of such poetry does not simply concern the poet's class affiliation and solidarity but the body of poetic expression itself, the verse.

The poem, the verse, is then situated in society, no less than so- ciety (class society) lies within the verse. In the last section of Im- promptu (41-43) the fully historical nature of the verse emerges:

Quando vinti ci si esercita in
una passione, d'ingaggiarsi per
altri versi che non questa miopia
non si sente l'uomo che e donna
coi pantaloni piuttosto sul grigio
che se non fossero a1 dunque lavati

per quel forzato amore che e
la detronizzazione: quando vinta
rispecchiati nella vittoria, che

e l'indifferenza per tutto cio
che riguarda la Storia, di quell'ebete
femmina ingaggiata per una storia

d'amore di cui mi racconterai
pur ancora un'altra volta, quando
l'avrai vista storta. E se paesani
zoppicanti sono questi versi e

perche siamo pronti per un'altra
storia di cui sappiamo benissimo

faremo a1 dunque a meno, perso
l'istinto per I'istantanea rima

perche il ritmo t'aveva a1 dunque

gia occhieggiata da prima.

Poetry, storia (understood as both history and story), love and the vi- olence of dominion come together here to form a striking constella- tion. La storia includes a storia d'amore, but a story of "forced love," a love which is in fact "dethronement," in which the "dumb woman" is "enlistedff or "engaged." "You," the reader it seems, will repeat this story when you have seen it "aslant"; and you will be ready for an- other story which, somehow, you will know full well how to do with- out. Having lost the "instinct for instantaneous rhyme" you are, via aform of synaesthesia, "spotted" by the rhythm, which is, in fact, his- tory's rhythm, the rhythm of the limping verses of the vanquished. Poetry in these final lines is split into two- a lost form of pure rhym- ing and the rhythm, which endures.

And so, in this, her provisional swan song to poetry, Rosselli force- fully suggests not only the historicity of poetry, in all its violence, but the poeticity of history, which is to say history's inescapable rhythm, which marks and encompasses us, spotting us from some irreducible "beginning." Written at the margins of dominion, Amelia Rosselli's poetry leaves us, ready or not, in the middle of a history, a story, a verse which we, in the end, are called upon to tell again.

NOTES

I wish to express my gratitude to Renzo Bragantini, Joseph Buttigieg, Corrado Ca- lenda, Pier Massimo Forni, Barbara Harlow, Keala Jewell, Robert J. Rodini, Amelia Rosselli, Eduardo Saccone, Deanna Shemelz, Karen Van Dyck, and Clair Wills for their valuable comments and criticisms on an earlier version of this essay.

'See the appendix, "Amelia Rosselli: Poetry in Italian," and the "Bibliography of Selected Criticism." In most cases citations from worlzs included in thc Bibliography

of Selected Criticism will be referred to in the text with the name of the author in pa- rentheses.

Tonsider theseexemplary statementsfrom the texts listed in the bibliography: "La suggestiva e spesso potente poesia della Rosselli era e resta un fenomeno in sostanza unico nel panorama letterario italiano" (Mengaldo 993-94); "improbabili o nulli i suoi effettivi rapporti con scuole o gruppi. Rare analogie con situazioni di altri autori. . . ." (Zanzotto); and also, from La nuova enciclopedia della letteratura Garzanti, "difficile la collocazione della poesia della Rosselli nel panorama italiano" (835).

Without further ado, we can list some of the chief influences on her work, as de- clared by Rosselli herself: Campana, Montale, Rimbaud, Pavese, Kafka, Dante, Leo- pardi. To this partial list I would add the English Elizabethan poets, above all Donne. Her most plausible contemporary "affiliation" is probably with Antonio Porta who, just before his death, translated a selection of her English poems into Italian, published as Sleep (Rome: Rossi & Spera, 1989).

"The most clamorous exception to this rule is of course certain Futurist composi- tions which not only exalt war but attempt to re-create war within the poem itself, Marinetti's poem on the Battle of Hadrianopolis, "Zang Tumb Tumb," the most fa- mous among them.

"11 quotations from Rosselli's poetry will be indicated in the text with the name of the volume and page number in parentheses. See appendix for further bibliographical information.

"La Linea Gotica" was the line dividing Nazi- and Allied-occupied Italy in 1943-

44. 'Introduction, Poeti italiani del Novecento (Milano: Mondadori, 1981) xxii. %ee "Mandato degli scrittori e fine dell'antifascismo," Verifica dei poteri. Scritti

di critica e diistituzioniletterarie (Torino: Einaudi, 1989) 102-147. Here I would stress that the present discussion is limited to the question of the social function of the poet, not of the citizen in general; Rosselli's activism in the Italian Communist Party during much of her poetic career evinces a decided participation in the sphere of community and social ethics.

YAmelia Rosselli, personal interview, 26 May 1989.

'OIntroduction, Poeti italiani del Novecento lxi.

"Verifica 136.

lZSee Rosselli's account, "Storia di una malattia," in Nuovi argomenti 56 (1977) 185-96. 13Mengaldo 994. This contrast is seen most clearly in Rosselli's peripheral partic- ipation in the Gruppo '63 from whose strategies she was in many ways quite distant.

141 have in mind Gianfranco Contini's use of the term with the dual meaning of "convivenza" (of styles and genres) and "compresenza" {of tones and lexical strata) /cf. "Preliminari sulla lingua del Petrarca," in Varianti e altra linguistica j1938-19681 [Torino: Einaudi, 19701 171-72).

Primi Scritti 1952-1963 (Milano: Guanda, 1980) 71-115.

Menabo 6 (1963) 67.

17Pasolini 67.

18For a more general discussion of the problems related to woman's poetry and the

male poetic tradition see: Jan Montefiore, Feminism ~nd Poetry: Language, Experi- ence, Identity in Women's Writing (New York: Pandora, 1987); and Margaret Homans, Women Writers and Poetic Identity: Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Bronte, and Emily Dickinson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980).

'"1 am of course referring to Dossi's extraordinary novel, La Desinenza in A (Milano: Rizzoli, 1989). 20The citations are from: "A Silvia" in Giacomo Leopardi, Canti (Milano: Rizzoli, 1974) 125; "Falsetto" in Mengaldo 533; and "La Ragazza Carla" in Mengaldo 944.

"I limit mv remarks here to Rosselli's work in the context of Italian Doetrv of the

. ,

last two centuries. At the same time, one suspects that this question could be fruitfully taken up with regard to Italian women poets of the sixteenth century.

"See the section entitled "H" in Illun2inations: "Toutes les monstruosites violent les gestes atroces dlHortense: sa solitude est la mecanique erotique, sa lassitude, lady- namique amoreuse. Sous la surveillance d'une enfance elle a ete, a des epoques nom- breuses, l'ardente hygiene des races. Sa porte est ouverte a la misere. La, la moralite des Ptres actuels se decoroore en sa assi ion ou en son action-O terrible frisson des amours novices sur le sol sanglant et par l'hydrogene clarteux! trouvez Hortense." From Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poerns, ed. Oliver Bernard [Harmondsworth: Pen- guin Books, 1986) 284.

"See the verses cited above from "Falsetto" in Mengaldo 533. lJAnother aspect of Rosselli's work which invites consideration is her use of such classical andlor mythical female figures as Electra, Antigone, Diana, Cassandra.

L"osselli, an organist and musicologist, studied music in London, Florence, Rome and Darmstadt. One of her main research projects, published as "La serie degli armonici (1953-19771,'' appeared in I1 Verri 8th ser. 1-2 11987).

'"ssay included at the end of Variazioni belliche 182.

"From "Diario in Tre Lingue" (1955-19561, in Prilni Scritti 1952-1963 92. The meaning of this statement is of course further complicated by the fact that the first- person subject is speaking by means of a quotation.

'XPasolini 66.

'"The explicit treatment of history in Impron~ptll may well have something to do with the fact that the poem appears to be addressed to none other than Pier Paolo Pa- solini himself:

E tu frassine
oh lungo fratello d'una volta
chiamato Pierpaolo, un ricordo

soltanto ho delle tue vanaglorie

come se in fondo fosse I'ambizione

a gettar I'ultimo sguardo
dall'ultimo ponte.
(lnlpromptll, 19)

Read as a response to Pasolini, Impronlptu offers a striking instance of a poet's response to a critic's response to her poetry. I am grateful to Karen Van Dyck for suggesting this reading of the poem to me.

APPENDIX

Amelia Rosselli: Poetry in Italian

During the thirty-odd years of Amelia Rosselli's poetic career she has written in Italian, English, and French, though primarily in the former two languages, and has published almost exclusively her Italian work. A brief selection of her English poems, entitled Sleep, was published by Rossi & Spera [Roma) in 1989, with a translation by Antonio Porta. A much more extensive collection of her English poems, also entitled Sleep, was published by Garzanti earlier this year. Her poetic worlzs in Italian are as follows:

Variazioni belliche. Milano: Garzanti, 1964.
Serie ospedaliera. Milano: Mondadori, 1969.
Documento (1966-1 973). Milano: Garzanti, 1976.
Impromptu. Genova: S. Marco dei Giustiniani, 1981.
Appunti sparsi e persi (1 966-1 977). Reggio Emilia: Aelia Laelia, 1983

A selection of Rosselli's Italian poetry edited by Giacinto Spagnoletti was published by Garzanti in 1987, along with a foreword by Gio- vanni Giudici and an interview with Rosselli, under the title Antologia poetica. A selection of her early works (prose, poetry and other) in English, French and Italian appeared in Primi Scritti (1 952-1 963) (Milano: Guanda, 1980). Rosselli's prose piece, Diario Ottuso (1 954- 19681, was published by IBN Editore (Roma) in 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELECTED CRITICISM

Agosti, Stefano. "La poesia c'e, ma il senso?" I1 Giorno 5 Mar. 1978.
Bellezza, Dario. "I1 verso del cuore." Espresso 27 Sept. 1987.
Berardinelli, Alfonso. "I lapsus di Amelia." Panorama 15 Jan. 1989.
Bertolucci, Attilio. Book-jacket to Documento (1 966-1 973).
Cimatti, Pietro. "Disperata in un nevrotico salotto." I1 Messaggero 11 Aug.

1976. D'Elia, Gianni. "Lo spazio sonoro del verso." I1 Manifesto 31 July 1987. Fortini, Franco. I poeti del novecento. Bari: Laterza, 1977: 208-09. Frabotta, Biancamaria. "'Lo sai, debbo riperderti e non posso.' Le terribili

guerre delle parole nei primi scritti di Amelia Rosselli." I1 Manifesto 18 Oct. 1980. Giudici, Giovanni. "Per Amelia Rosselli." Antologia poetica. Milano: Gar-

zanti, 1987: 5-1 1. Originally published as preface to Impromptu. Maraini, Dacia. "Sola contro il mondo." Paese Sera 2 July 1976. Mengaldo, Pier Vincenzo. Introduction to poems by Rosselli in Poeti italiani

del Novecento. Ed. Pier Vincenzo Mengaldo. 1978. Milano: Mondadori,

1981: 993-97. Pasolini, Pier Paolo. "Notizia su Amelia Rosselli." I1 Menabo 6 ( 1963): 66-69. Pedulla, Walter. "Meglio i poeti." L'Avanti 6 Sept. 1969. Raboni, Giovanni. "Poesia di donna e sibilla." Tuttolibri 6 June 1971. -. "Poeti del second0 Novecento." I1 Novecento. Vol. 9, pt 2. of Storia

della Letteratura Italiana. Eds. Emilio Cecchi and Natalino Sapegno. Mi-

lano: Garzanti, 1987: 237-38. Ramondino, Fabrizia. "Versi 'sparsi e persi.' " I1 Mattino 18 Jan. 1984. Siciliano, Enzo. "Qualcuno ha ferito la Sibilla." I1 Tempo 30 May 1976. Zanzotto, Andrea. "Care, rischiose parole sibilline." I1 Corriere della Sera 18

July 1976.

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