Four poems by Luca Visentini, translated from the Italian by Natasha Senjanović

The Queen

From the wreckage of the last war
an ancient queen appeared before me
wrapped in her fragrant shawl
an infant magician in hand
The queen slid through the air
so swift in her lazy majesty
that none of my artful accomplices
could have stopped her
She undressed for me hidden
telling me one by one of her veils
she showed me her skin made of earth
under layers of leaves and rivers
I saw the sand of her eyes
and the deep folds of her face
the right one from an angel’s kiss
the left one from millennia of lives
uncoiled like the thread of a spindle.

She revealed her treasures in the dark
she allowed me to make her bed
she left me a sign every night:
the queen, what was she searching for
didn’t she feel the weight of my heart?
She ran away confused crying
her lightness lost,
but as she was running
she stopped the fragments from falling
she turned, took my hand
pulling me to her (I think)
or rather, pulling herself to me.


Shaky Primates

In the car on the bridge
the wet bridge
greasy with moods
mutable pains
we suck and slip on
we take turns seducing
these sensitive purple
glasses of her.
Cold July rain
skeletal magpie on the wire
leaden love catastrophic
right isosceles triangle
one stands the other lies
one leaves the other lives
one returns the other dies.

Primates we are shaky
primary and needful
of primitive actions
nervous system
regrettable violence
that erupts uncontrolled
attempting kindness
deceiving with the body
it is intrusion
an entanglement of words.
I don’t know how to look at you
I don’t know how to touch you
I don’t know how to hold you
in my lap
in my heart
I don’t know how to make love anymore.

The tree has roots
it lives in the earth
uprooted it can wither
water caresses it
quenches it
crushes it.
Genders in contrast
sexes consumed
some suffer lightness
some suffer heaviness
circles of water
circles of earth
penetrated superimpose
unrelinquishable mystery.
I don’t know what to do
I don’t know how to stop
everything is open
it comes and goes
the water flows
around the tree
impermanent trust
in a thin needle’s eye
clinging to the abyss
astonished I look at you
there is no sense
there is no form
there is no outcome
in the end.

Children run
taking small steps
behind butterflies
they never catch.


Lost Translations

Not of fortune tellers
but of missing coincidences
for years we have lived in this
teeming desert.
And if we graze each other
wordlessly silently, we tread lightly
because a single caress
is also necessary.

We grew up searching
stubbornly lost translations;
if only a house were enough
waking sleeping talking
if only you were right
if only we were wrong.


The Walk
(to Richard Long)

I walked
the usual stone
in the distance

I walked
the time and the place,
I arranged the landscape
into an infinite walk

I walked without travelling
and wanderer
spoke after the fact


A freelance journalist and translator, Natasha Senjanović spent 15 years in Rome, where she worked for Screen International (Italy correspondent, 1999-2002) and The Hollywood Reporter (Italy critic, 2007-2011), and as a Senior Editor at from 2005 to 2011. Former Assistant Director of the Pesaro Film Festival, her articles and features have appeared in numerous publications and she is an on-air correspondent for FRED Film Radio ( As a translator, Natasha specializes in cinema, geopolitics and literature. Her published translations include Luca Visentini’s book of poetry Lost Translations and Antonia Tricarico’s Thoughts and Words, a collection of poetry and prose.


Luca Visentini (b. 1969) was born in Udine, Italy. He divides his time between Trieste and Brussels, where he works as the Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). He began working as a trade unionist while studying philosophy at university. He is actively involved in numerous cultural initiatives for the promotion and development of theatre and literature. A poet, short story writer and playwright, he has published three collections of poetry: Traduzioni Perdute (2004), Goffi erotismi pagani (2007) and Prima della rivoluzione (2012). His work has appeared in diverse anthologies.

Luca Visentin nasce a Udine 43 anni fa. Vive tra Trieste e Bruxelles, dove lavora come Segretario Confederale del Sindacato Europeo. Fa il sindacalista dai tempi dell’università, dove ha studiato filosofia. È attivo in numerose realtà culturali nei campi del teatro e della letteratura. Poeta, scrittore di racconti e drammaturgo, ha pubblicato tre raccolte poetiche, Traduzioni perdute (2004), Goffi erotismi pagani (2007) e Prima della rivoluzione (2012). Suoi testi sono presenti in varie antologie.

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2014 by in italian, poetry, translation, Uncategorized.


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