Fate or some happy coincidence met me with the poetry of Lucio Piccolo in this slow, almost stopped time of isolation. And not for anything else, but to show me that this way of life, no matter how difficult and untenable it may seem to me today, can be a constant from birth to death, without bringing a sense of boredom and meaninglessness.


Similar is the life of Lucio Piccolo, born in Palermo on October 27, 1901. The youngest son of Baron Giuseppe Piccolo di Calanovella and Teresa Mastroggiovanni Tasca, whose childhood was carefree and well-satisfied because of the title his father held. Until the age of 31, the future poet lived in the family villa of Via Liberta in Palermo and did not seem to be looking for any other life than the one he had from birth.

Casimiro, Giovanna and Lucio

The villa of the Piccolo family

On a walk

However, two unexpected events mark his life at this age - the death of his father and the severe economic crisis, which seriously affected his family. His mother had to sell the villa and the family moved to one of the summer family houses. Teresa's three children have vowed never to marry. From a very young age, Lucho was infinitely curious and had an enviable culture for his age and a deep knowledge of Greek, Latin, Italian, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy. After graduating from high school, he did not enroll in university, but continued to gain knowledge in various fields in the comfort of the family home. He is dedicated to music, poetry and philosophy.


A game with a close friend of his - to compete to find more talents (poets and writers) unknown in Palermo - makes him delve into European literature and read works in original in English, French, German, Spanish. Thus, he became an extremely erudite person, very well acquainted with world literature, so that at the age of 53 he could publish his first collection of poems at his own expense (notice!). He sent it to the poet Eugenio Montale, who decided to present it at the prestigious literary conference in San Pellegrino Terme in July of that year. Piccolo attended the ceremony and became the center of attention, and journalists "killed" him to interview him. In a few days, the unknown Sicilian baron became a famous poet. Decades of reading someone else's work have given incredible results and allowed a real talent to create himself. Numerous books of poetry followed until his death on May 26, 1969.

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The translation is perfect - the style is preserved, the rhythm is preserved, the enjambements and the syntagms are preserved, the music is preserved, as well as the voice of the author. And this is the most valuable thing a translator can do - to present poetry to a foreign audience as the poet himself wrote it. Very difficult task and very responsible. It is obvious that Daniela Ilieva loves, respects and appreciates what has come out of the pen of Sicilian poets. He does not allow himself to encroach on the most intimate thing in literature - poetry, distorting it with his editorial. On the contrary, I have not read a translation closer to the original in Bulgarian.


Lucho Piccolo's poetry is a delicate penetration into the beauty of the world, into the movement of time, of natural events, into the secret of the days, which are revealed only to those who know how to contemplate the world. "Our hours are down" and "the world disappears like a flower in a rounded face." This is the kind of poetry we are talking about - poetry describing pictures and natural states, poetry that speaks another language that does not know the vanity, envy and malice of worldly life, although poverty is foreign to the poet, and the possibility of contacts aristocrats) never missed him. Daniela named the book Poetry, but I would add - poetry of loneliness, because it exudes from every word and every verse, although not exactly in this destructive sense. In Piccolo's poetry, loneliness is meaningful, constructive and desirable. It is no coincidence that in his book he writes:

"It simply came to my notice then
darkness, to twilight can
to look like a pose.
It actually corresponds to one
internal necessity, characteristic
for us Sicilians, I think, almost
in contrast to a lot of light,
which surrounds us. Let's retire
in our inner darkness, to find
lost, to delay time,
death. "

Lucho Piccolo's library

The poet spends his whole life in solitude, isolated from the world, but strongly connected with the world of literature. In the evening he stares at the bright red sky, where nothing trembles, only the sun moves and sinks more and more. She listens to the song of the crickets and thinks… thinks and creates. And he is accompanied by Yates, Proust, Rilke. Who could say that this way of life is less valuable than ours? What greater deed than to contemplate what God has created and to fall asleep with what other deities (those of art) have created?


Piccolo's poetry is intoxicating and soothing. He raises a wall against the worldly in order to lift the curtain to natural perfection and to reveal that highest meaning of existence - the meaning of creation. I am extremely happy that this little book has reached me and changed me in a way that only great art can change. I leave here a few poems to prove my words.


A voice humble and unceasing


A voice humble and unceasing
imperceptible melody
of eternal pain,
you reach us everywhere,
you are approaching us everywhere,
our refrain is so insignificant,
heavy that restrains him;
we only wish for you
balm unknown, bandages…
but they are nailed there
before your weeping hands
we can give it to you
only prayer and sorrow.


A universe driven by impulses…


A universe driven by the impulses of
rays, of hours without colors, of the eternal
turns, of brilliance
from the clouds: for a moment and here it is changed
shapes shine, epochs swayed.
And the vault of the door was low, the step was ridged,
from numerous winters, they become fabulous when
in the March sun they shine.


From a game of hide and seek


If we are figures from
mirror driven by the breath only
of flesh deprived of sound
around even the world
it has not stopped, but the wall is movable
with drawings complete, game fake,
ambiguity of darkness and light,
from forms in confirmation
and in the negation of meaning - just as
on the screen, from dizziness
eyes if we close, non-stop
carousel of debris
fast, images and half-shadows
from life or sleep
- we pass lifeless remains
from moment to moment and from wave one after another
without being able to stop our day
coming or the light staring at things.




A fortune teller, a magician, appeared from behind the scenes:
"In mysterious figures you close your rice,
with the shadow fly winged asps in the thicket,
a mocking hoarseness shakes the treacherous forest;
but open the door a little and see the nebulae
of distant rains;
and in the brazier he cast pine bark;
in front of the threshold a bunch of rosemary hang,
and a lamp still lit in your solitary silence:
in a dream will come from heaven threads of gold,
and the room closed in cozy quiet
you will see the world disappear
of a flower in a rounded face. "


The green ray


From towers, overhanging balconies
against the breeze, we saw
the sun's gaze last
how about sea crystals
from its depths and night came
and caressed the huge wings
of butterflies: like shadows.
But the beam seemed to be lost
in the vortex of the earth
illuminate the depths in green
ours, where he sings forever
tale one, then a voice
we heard day after day and it blossomed
with trembling woods in the morning.

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