• History of the Language

    Fabio Pusterla

    Spring 2019

    To Patrizia

    In Chiasso, in a ho-hum
    courtyard at the close
    of the fifties, children
    make a game of scaling
    the fences to beat rugs—
    a puff of metal and grass.
    Eternal, the afternoon. Relentless,
    the sheep-in-clouds sky.
    Relentless, the games.
    They climb up and hook
    their knees over the crossbeam,
    hanging head down, arms dangling,
    and in their irrepressible
    little voices cry out to the world,
    “We’re monkeys!
    Beautiful brown apes, orango-tangos,
    tiny monkeys doing the ‘Petàce’!”
    Then they laugh in the late postwar period.

    Fabio Pusterla was born in Mendrisio, Switzerland, in 1957. His most recent collection of poems, published by Marcos y Marcos, is  Cenere, o Terra  (Ashes, or Earth).  

    Will Schutt is the author of Westerly (Yale University Press) and translator, most recently, of My Life, I Lapped It Up: Selected Poems of Edoardo Sanguineti (Oberlin College Press). 

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