As part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States, the Phillips has partnered with the Embassy of Italy to present an exhibition that pairs contemporary Italian photographs with verses by celebrated Italian poets. On view at the Phillips through April 28, the show is complemented by posters featuring its photography/poem pairings on city buses. In honor of National Poetry Month, we bring you a selection from this series. Read Part I and Part II.
Flanking Gardin’s lovely gelatin-silver print Toscana to the left you will discover Basilico’s Ponte Matteotti, Roma with this verse written by Eugenio Montale in 1925:
“Meriggiare pallido e assorto” (1925)
. . . sentire con triste meraviglia
com’è tutta la vita e il suo travaglio
in questo seguitare una muraglia . . .
“To slump at noon” (1925)
. . . once more, to feel, with sad surprise
how all life and its battles
is in this walk alongside a wall . . .
Eugenio Montale (translated by Millicent Bell)
At right, hangs Migliori’s No War with this verse by Mario Luzi:
“Prima notte di primavera” (1965)
Porto la mano sulla fitta, ascolto.
Prima notte di primavera, gonfia
e lacera tra l’avvenire e l’essere.
“First night of spring” (1965)
My hand is on the stitch of pain, I’m listening.
First night of spring, swelling
and lacerating, between becoming and being.
Mario Luzi (translated by Nick Benson)