Rinaldo Rasa on Fri, 20 Aug 1999 18:15:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FIST OF SUN by Ferruccio Brugnaro.

Personal reflections.

I remember Ferruccio Brugnaro during a poetry reading in 1973 at the
Centro Civico in Venezia-Mestre. The audience was of factory workers,
leftist political activists and trade-unionists. He was aged in comparison
with us and the meeting was interesting but formal, few young people asked
him about the source of his poetry. A that time the urgency of the
political fight were a filter to dig his poetry. Now that this book of
selected poems (in the 70s' were written on leaflet) is printed in english
language there's a good chance to re-thinking that times. 

Rinaldo Rasa. Venezia-Mestre, Italia.


INTROUCTION by Jack Hirschman

Ferruccio Brugnaro is a poet whose work is governed by an irresistible
directness, a hands-on sincerity organized into an agit-prop confrontation
expressing a modern classical tradition that's been declared either dead
in the water or non-existent in the first place. 

Poetry is not supposed to grab you by your lapels or, lacking a coat (as
many are these days), your collar. 

It's not supposed to stick its verb in your face. 

Or come at one as if there were an urgency that needed immediate

In short, Brugnaro's poetry is poetry, necessary and gritty. Militant. 
Revolutionary. with a spine of discourse come from real and not imagined
discourse: actual partecipation in actual struggles and not the imagining
of or commentaries upon such struggles. 

Brugnaro was born in Mestre, Italy, on August 18, 1936. He worked for more
than thirty years __ most of his adult life __ in the giant complex of
chemical factories in the Porto Marghera district of Venice. He retired
from factory work in 1992 and now devotes all of his time to his writings. 

But since 1959, Ferruccio has made poetry and the politics of the worker
and integral part of his life. Though numerous books of poems and stories
and thoughts are making their way to a wider and wider audience in Italy,
he remains (blessedly, thankfully) outside the "literary" and bankrupt
tendencies of Italian culture. He is a union guy, close to the street, an
agit-propagandist poet, with a mimeo heart in tune and touch with the
struggles of the workers and those falling into utter poverty, destitution
and, through the cracks, to death. 

I first came in contact with his work in the latter part of the '80's,
when Compages, an international journal of petry I was helping to edit,
published one of his poems. 

Then in January of 1993, when I was on a reading tour throughout Italy, on
the occasion of the bi-lingual publication of my own book poems, _Endless
Threshold_, I had the great fortune finally to meet Ferruccio __ at home
of our mutual friend and comrade, Alessandro Spinazzi. 

We all had a great week together in and around the Venice area. Ferruccio
and I read one evening ad Lenin Hall in the building of the old __now
changing__ Italian communist party, during a discourse I was giving on the
changes demanded in the electronic world vis-a-vis unemployment and

A few days later, we all drove (including his wife, Maria) to Vittorio
Veneto, where Ferruccio and Maria read the Italian of my poems, and I read
the original American. 

I decided, during that week of happy cameraderie, and because I see in
Ferruccio's work a resonance that harks back to Mayakovsky, as well as
forward toward the necessary future of mankind, to translate his poems in
a selection that might include his rage, his righteousness, his tenderness
and, through all, that spine of lyripolitical discourse so very important
for the days ahead. 

I made my selection from three of his books: Dobbiamo Volere(We Must Want
To); Il Silenzio Non Regge(The Silence Doesn't Rule), and Le Stelle Chiare
di Queste Notti (The Clear Stars of These Nights). 

My thanks to Katy Bird and Alessandro Spinazzi in Marghera, Italy, and to
Susanna Bonetti and Antonella Soldaini in San Francisco for helping shape
the first and second drafts of his translation, respectively; and to
Franco Francesca, in Hebden Bridge, England, who went over the text and
provided many helpful suggestion as well. 

I am certain Americans will recognize more than a little of themselves in
the poetry of this wonderful Italian internationalist. 

                                  __Jack Hirschman

                                    San Francisco 1997


Now i chose the poem that gave the title to the book:


     We've gotten hold of

            every corner of Venice today.

     Tall red banners, slogans

                against rip-offs and Death.

     Urgent songs of

               struggle and love now rise up

     from blood and soul.

     The stones and the waters have become

                     human, warm.

     Our heart

                runs madly

                      to liberation.

           Huge joy.

     Today life raises

                       the concrete future

     of men, of all mankind,

                   in its fist of sun.


Ferruccio Brugnaro



Translated by Jack Hirschman

$10.95, pages 95.

CURBSTONE PRESS 321 Jackson Street  Willimantic, CT 06226

       phone: (860) 423




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