This collection of poems, thoughts, modern fables and vignettes is translated to English from the original Italian. It felt translated in its stilted prose verging on romanticized abstract cliche. The fables, too, felt un-nuanced and heavy-handed with a goal in mind but stunted development. One could wonder what has been lost in the translation process.
No particular poem or tale stood out as better or worse than the rest. One did heavily push into speculative fiction territory with its bleak image of a future society completely divorced from its past and elderly citizens. Another, veered toward folktale centering on an Italian equivalent of Santa Claus, the Befana. This diversity of genres adds flavor to the mix.
My favorite moments were mere couple-line descriptions that had something new to offer:
[from “The Kiss of Old People”]
Those two were still seeking something from each other, worth waiting for. Perhaps there is always something that lovers can receive, even if it is the tacit and intimate promise of dying together.
[from “The Reunion”]
. . . memories were bursting from the fog in which they seemed to have dissolved.
[from “Those Four Minutes”]
He opened the bathroom, as bare as the rest of the house, with only a razor and a toothbrush left on the edge of the sink. It was an environment without a story.