Swans Commentary » swans.com December 13, 2010  



Perspectives: A Review of 2010


Terzani's words: year-end messages in a bottle
Tiziano Terzani, Monte's students, G. Monte


Arranged by Guido Monte


Multilingual Poetry


Research work and comments: Marilia Barreca, Egle Briulotta, Giuseppe Mavaro, Alessandro Tirrito (on Lettere contro la guerra, 2002), Irene Buffa, Gabriele De Bernardis, Marta La Pietra (on La fine è il mio inizio, 2004), Marta Bitonto (on Un altro giro di giostra, 2004), Ramona Roccamatisi (on Anam, il senzanome, 2004), Gabriele Serra (on Dentro di noi. Parlano i lettori di Tiziano Terzani, 2007)

Pic: "Tiziano" - © 2010 Viviana Di Miceli - Size: 12k
© 2010 Viviana Di Miceli



Mi chiedo, guardando le nostre mani,
se è questo il conto che non torna,
se è questa la sabbia
che ingolfa la clessidra di Caino

("I wonder, looking at our hands,
if this one doesn't add up,
if this is the sand
that fills the Cain's hourglass")
—Manfredi Palacino
(Swans - December 13, 2010)  

"It doesn't deal with justification, condemnation, but understanding. Understanding, because I am convinced that the problem of terrorism won't be resolved by killing the terrorists, but by eliminating the reasons that make them such"

To understand, means to comprise the viewpoint of the other for finding a common meeting point.

"What is so frightful about death? The idea that frightens us so much, that freezes us at that moment, is to think that everything that we get involved with, will disappear. First of all the body. We made the body become an obsession"

What terrifies us most is the idea of the unknown, the recognition that for this unique, indefinable, and conclusive event of our lives, we will never be completely prepared.
Meanwhile the ride of life goes on frenetically, mad, and it drags us into a whirl.

"We must not get lost in talking about the fact that closing weapons factories will cause unemployment. Or do we just want to surrender to the fact that economy determines everything?

How important is the economic aspect of war in human life? Terzani criticizes the false belief of economic utility, increasing the value of the moral aspect against the notion that economy and war are the foundation of humanity.

"I'm living now, here, with the feeling that the universe is extraordinary [...] and that life is a neverending discovery. And I feel especially lucky, because now, more than ever, each day is really another ride on a carousel

Only on your last run, you do become aware that the beauty of life is in appreciating each single moment, each single gesture, each single breath.

"There are some days in our life in which nothing happens, days that slip away without something to remember, not leaving a trace, as if they had hardly existed. Thinking about it more carefully, most days are like that, and only when the number of those that remain is very limited, we ask ourselves how it was possible to let them pass, casually, many of them. But we are made this way: Only later we appreciate what happened before, and only when something is in the past we become more aware of how it would be in the present. But it is no longer here"

It's a feeling that we all have tried at least once in our lives and that leads us to really reflect on whether we live or whether we simply exist. What is the difference between living and existing? Many days of our lives run without being really savored and many others will go away. We must hold close the thoughts of Tiziano, not worrying that the answer might come too late.

"I liked to think that humanity's problems one day could be solved by a poets' conspiracy: a small group ready to take the fates of the world, because only poets, or people free to let their hearts fly, are able to be free with their imagination without the dullness of every day, are able to think differently. This is what we probably need nowadays: to think differently"

The poet is a chosen person, the only one who has the gift to leave out of contingency and individual situations, the only one who can distinguish and understand the human reality.

"The only true master of life is not in any forest, in any hut, in any ice cave of Himalaya... he is inside ourselves

Man is, at the same time, a tender son of dolphin (unable to swim without his mother), and a protected marsupium of the mother of a kangaroo; so, man is principle and purpose of his own reason of being.

Dear anam Tiziano, grazie to you and Shanti



Monte's students attend the Liceo Ginnasio Statale "G. Meli" of Palermo, Sicily, and sometimes help him to search for poetic words on the only Book ever written.

Monte thanks gratefully Annie Huth, Michelle Abbott and Giusy Chirco.

Picture: Tiziano (2010), Viviana Di Miceli.

For more about Tiziano Terzani, see Swans at:

See also Ode To Peace And Life; the introduction to Tiziano Terzani's Letters Against the War, by Gilles d'Aymery, Swans Commentary, September 8, 2008.


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art16/gmonte105.html
Published December 13, 2010