prego–

photo-15

street scene in front of my rome hotel..the restaurant was close by..

.

it’s a sidestreet place, no tourists,
a little group of old, italian men, the only guests
checked table cloth, la notte sinks
on Rome and i–

order pizza, un bicchiere di vino,
rosso, secco// & a steady pul-

siNg rest-day’s heat creeps
from the asphalt up my legs,
under my black dress, lingers–

“parli italiano?” sepia teethed &
wrinkled smile, across the room,

i smile back, “no–” “germane?
o inglese?” “si” —
the chef joins from the kitchen,
sweat pearls on his forehead, apron twined
around his hips, we’re

on a stage, playing, recitare,
linguaggio mimico, &

later, buried in the pages of my book,
rinsed soft by una lingua whose
pronunciation makes my name sound
like a goddess, and she is, actually
hidden in it —dia,

moth formations circle in a tranquil dance
around the street lamp, “buena notte”

stepping out into the night,
il mondo, drunk with heat, spins slowly–
backward, forward– stops.

& i roll up, into a perfect ball,
along her sinuous axis

.

we’re writing poetry in a language that is not our own in the pub today..actually, i do this all the time as my mother tongue is german…though…thought i’m going for italian for the prompt…flashback to Rome..sigh..

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62 responses to “prego–

  1. Wow, a lovely rendering, One is There. Fine job, Claudia, Since sometimes, it’s agreeable to mention the favorite rest stops in a piece, a favorite phrasing or verse where the rapt reader takes off for a minute & nods/ Mine was,. though I don’t know meanings, but can guess
    “we’re/ on a stage, playing, recitare/ linguaggio mimico &/ later..”

    Thanx again, & keep on, g.r.

  2. …Claudia, the whole flow reads so elegant…i am just blown away by how many language do you speak aside from german, italiano, & english & ah…you are a globally equiped woman.. the lines starting on the moth formations is quite of a scene from a night walk…i think the beauty of Rome is much appreciated by night fall rather than in the morn…smiles…

  3. a steady pul-

    siNg rest-day’s heat creeps
    from the asphalt up my legs,
    under my black dress, lingers–

    “parli italiano?”

    Superb. This is so well done that I didn’t immediately spot that it was done for the other language prompt.

  4. side street places are the best…some of the best italian food ever is from two places i never would have found without directions (and maybe the secret passcode)…love the intimacy in the opening with the heat up your skirt…and the magic of the moths around the streetlamp toward the end as well…gorgeous piece c

  5. Very lovely poem, Claudia – I agree with both Dave King and Brian – I love the line breaks – the turning of pulsing to Sing – the breaks in flow – going to the dialogue – really clever here and so human and vivid and the moth formations just beautiful.

    And I love Italy. I haven’t been to Rome for ever but was in Venice not so long ago. I don’t really speak Italian but took some online free course for a few weeks before going which was enough to sort of – well–make me feel like I could mumble every once in a while.

    Fun poem. k.

  6. Love the flow of this poem, Claudia. And, of course, you are a ‘goddess.’ (Smiles) The last two stanzas referencing the moon are wonderful!!

  7. Like this Claudia. Brought back memories of Rome for me. I like how you weave a memory with such luscious words that make us feel what you were feeling while you were there. You elevate the moment to something really special. You have such a talent for that. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Really like those spurts of Italian.. works so well for your theme I think. Strange how much you can communicate without words in that situation though. Love Italian.. but it’s a challenge for the tongue. ciao ciao and bueno notte 🙂

  9. Really nice Claudia. Love how you incorporated the Italian in the scene. The dialogue exchange is fantastic, reminds me of my visit to France. Outstanding. Thanks

  10. Bravo Claudia!! love that there were no tourists..and the ending of you curled up to sleep in that small corner of the world is very touching 😉

  11. This is one of my dream destinations….Rome, someday and soon ~

    Love this part:

    buried in the pages of my book,
    rinsed soft by una lingua whose
    pronunciation makes my name sound
    like a goddess

  12. Certainly not on the tourist trail – those waiters never need to ask if your German, British or anythign else. They just know….

    This is a beautiful piece of writing Claudia. I’ve remarked before how much I admire your ability to write in a foreign language – English. Now you’ve gone and done it with Italian aswell.

  13. Even when I don’t understand the language, I can get a feeling for what the poet is trying to communicate. It is hard to imagine a woman who hasn’t been seduced while listening to Neruda…

  14. “rinsed soft by una lingua whose
    pronunciation makes my name sound
    like a goddess, and she is, actually
    hidden in it —dia . . . ”

    Soft is the pace and the tone of this wonderful scene, the kind of exchange that makes the world wonderful in little corners everywhere–look past the wars and dealings and Pow! There the scenes are, people to people, name to name. Thank you for this beautiful poem. You are a diplomat of peace and human understanding (which I think is better than the Goddess.). I hope your books are translated into everywhere.

  15. I don’t know whether my enjoyment derived more from the fact that I was in Italy last summer or from the poem, or from a combination of both, but I really loved your piece. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  16. Oh, Claudia. This drips like butter, and I’m lapping up every delicious drop. You should incorporate more foreign language in your poetry; this is gorgeous!

  17. “parli italiano?” sepia teethed &
    wrinkled smile, across the room,
    i smile back, “no–” “germane?
    o inglese?” “si” –

    Hi! Claudia, I like this exchange.

    the chef joins from the kitchen,
    sweat pearls on his forehead, apron twined
    around his hips, we’re
    on a stage, playing, recitare,
    linguaggio mimico, &

    Thanks, for sharing the [beautiful] photograph street scene in front of my rome hotel..the restaurant was close by …and your [very] descriptive poetic words in your poem “Prego.”
    deedee 🙂

  18. Very nice! You really captured the languid, language sense. Loved “moth formations circle in a tranquil dance” such a picture buena notte indeed 🙂