Souls and Words


AUTORE: Ermanno Spera
TITOLO:  Souls and Words
COLLANA: Calliope
GENERE: Poesia
ISBN-13:  9791281201477
PREZZO: 18,00


These days, after a marvellous ‘Roman literary campaign’, I find myself busy reading and translating into English a sylloge that is not easy to translate and, as is often the case now, (something I always do with great pleasure and zeal) i have been commissioned by the author to also write the preface to this original collection of poetry.

I am talking about my friend Ermanno Spera who, in this collection of his poems, suggests daring, but at the same time peculiar reflections, capable of instilling wonder through the use of evocative metaphors and images, often far from the commonplace, as they depict in a way that is, at times, singular and, at others, varied the author’s state of mind and his entire cosmos.

Already from a first glance at his compositions and their length, we can absolutely affirm that this is a poetic narrative that makes good use of storytelling as fertile ground on which to sow the keys to reading his poetics, useful to lead us back to the crude analysis, the representation of the present and necessary to relive experiences, antecedents, aspirations, desires and stances that, stealing an expression from biology, are the ‘amino acids’, hence the building blocks, of the biological cycle of each of us.

We are in the presence of lyrics to be read and reread with great care, as there are superimposed different narrative registers that I would define ‘substrates of poetry’, with the meaning of interpreting with such an image, not a necessary will of the author to propose rankings of values between one and the other, but to declare with naturalness an ineluctable symbiotic coexistence. In Spera’s poetics, the various human components intersect and communicate with each other, forming an articulated and usable ‘whole’ that should be savoured without prejudice and, in any case, slowly thanks to an always organic interaction of the  addressed various themes.

They range from the bitter aftertaste of an overflowing existence with indigenous lyricism, therefore capable of offering wonder and amazement, to a plurality of such strong ‘existential tears’ that, as a whole, they blend almost symbiotically with the ‘common feeling’. The author achieves this, simply by nakedly displaying his feeling for life and people.

We could, with good reason, define Spera as a tendentially romantic poet, where, however, there is room not only for colourful sentimental notes, often daughters of his ‘indomitable and pleasant Roman-ness’, but also for that need for balance of forms and values, sometimes disguised as nostalgia and at others as hope, which seem to find poetic notes and fragrances that perhaps most are not accustomed to, but which, from my point of view, turn out to be original and well thought-out.

It is precisely this search for balance that makes the reading of these poems pleasant and never tiring, just as the many themes dealt with in the sylloge, also sometimes in a concealed and never direct manner, imply a continuous and nostalgic reference to love and to the more or less distant past, to the present, to important places and people who have coloured the poet’s life.

There is no despair in these poems, and the desire for change does not appear as nostalgia, loss or repentance, but, ‘sic et simpliciter’, as an exhortation addressed to all to discern in poetry and, thanks to poetry, its cathartic and moralising function.

If we pause to analyse Spera’s lyrical structure, we can certainly say that although it is in free verse, it is not at all lacking in that musicality that gives pleasure and never tires. As mentioned earlier, the poet makes no secret and never masks his ‘Roman-ness’ that is often found between the lines, in metaphors and colourful expressions. In fact, I believe that this is one of the many secrets that make Spera’s mature poetry interesting.

In many of the poems, the versifying almost seems to unhinge the fake canons and dull rules used by jurors, reviewers and the experts in the field, but poetry, something of which i am for one a firm believer, has no cogent and binding rules or dictates, so i congratulate Ermanno Spera on having succeeded, “Between souls and words” (this is the title of the sylloge), to have succeeded in producing a new, original, involving poetic sylloge, and, above all, capable of recounting a real, genuine, unconventional ‘animus poeticus’ and, above all, if not unique in its genre, certainly different from other ways of making poetry.


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