Published in the Summer Issue 2018 of THE SEVENTH QUARRY, #28
Editor: Peter Thabit Jones
Lidia Chiarelli is an award-winning poet who hails from Turin in northern Italy. She has a strong link to South Wales through her connection to Aeronwy Thomas being the official Italian translator and biographer for her work and the inspiration she derives from Aeronwy is clear in this collection with a poem dedicated to her. Chiarelli graduated from the University of Turin and began a career in teaching, from here she became one of the Charter Members of Immagine & Poesia, alongside four others including Aeronwy Thomas. This art literary Movement was founded in Torino (Italy) in 2007 and has been a great success. Chiarelli’s work has been translated into many languages worldwide and published in places such as: Great Britain, the U.S.A, France and India to name but a few. She has won numerous awards over many years including a Certificate of Appreciation from The First International Poetry Festival of Swansea (UK) in 2011.
Tramonto in una tazza Sunset in a cup was published in 2017 by Edizioni Esordienti. Chiarelli’s poetry is a beautiful collection broken down into twelve
months, with each month dedicated to a different prominent female figure of literature, with names such as: Katherine Mansfield, Charlotte Bronte and Dorothy Parker among others. Chiarelli has
taken inspiration from their work created her own tribute from it. Through this she has shown how the marrying of art and literature results in a powerful piece that resonates with the reader.
With a quotation from each figure and a digital image of each prefacing her words it is clear to see that Chiarelli has been moved by each individual that she has selected. The subject matter,
her soft tone, rhythm and incorporation of words and images alongside one another results in a collection that will leave one in a state of thought and consideration long after completion.
Tramonto in una tazza Sunset in a cup is published bilingually in Italian and English which adds to the romanticism of her words. Individually, the poems are short but no less powerful or
complex as a
result. The images and brief information about each female prior to Chiarelli’s words renders one hungry for further information and overall, we are gifted a collection of poems which leaves an effect perhaps as strongly upon us as the original inspirations left upon Chiarelli.
The first poem; The Call, is dedicated to Virginia Woolf and focuses upon her suicide. Chiarelli beautifully presents this event through her metaphorical manipulation of nature, a theme that remains prominent throughout the collection. The poem opens with the words: ‘Black ravens scratched the sky in a frenzy’ which arrests the reader’s attention immediately and yet she ends the first stanza with the words ‘infinitely free’ which is altogether more calming. This represents the battle that Woolf struggled with in regards to her mental illness. She was free, in her mind, when she made the decision to end her life. As the poem progresses, Chiarelli informs us that Woolf is ‘docile’ and ‘surrendering to that irresistible voice’ as she enters the water to drown. The selection of language that Chiarelli has made, coupled with the slow rhythm leaves the reader as submissive as the subject to what is about to take place. There is a calm overriding tone to the piece and the ‘icy embrace’ at the close is as comforting to the reader as it is to Chiarelli and perhaps was to Woolf herself. This is a beautiful tribute, without judgement or opinion but rather a representation of how Chiarelli perceived her subject to be feeling. This is something that is evident throughout the collection, Chiarelli has thought about how the twelve women saw and felt the world and has woven a wonderful web of presentation from this.
As one moves through the collection it becomes clear that each poem is a personal dedication from Chiarelli, for example, in ‘The sacred garden Sissinghurst Castle Garden’ she bestows upon Vita Sackville-West the title of ‘priestess of this sacred garden’ or in ‘Garden in October’ when she takes inspiration from Christina Rossetti’s romantic style by stating ‘Amber brown leaves waltz on the boughs as you, Queen of Pre-Raphaelite beauty discover wonder in Autumn’s languid sun of this ephemeral reign’. It is clear that Chiarelli has gone to great lengths to appreciate each of the women she has selected for her collection. It cannot be denied that the tributes she makes beautifully encompass their passions, interests and approaches within their own literature and these are paired excellently alongside her own.
Art is a heavy influence upon Chiarelli and this
is evident throughout. Not only is each poem prefaced by a digital image dedicated to the woman she writes of but her lyricism of words ensures she presents each piece as a perfect meeting of art
and poetry. This serves to impress a powerful message upon the reader; how both elements can transform each other. The reader is invited into a world of reflection, made all the more real when
the image of each woman is there to be
absorbed alongside Chiarelli’s words. For example, in ‘Poppy Red’, a tribute to Sylvia Plath we have a delightful marrying of the words ‘a thousand poppies open wounds bleeding inside you’ with the image of poppies shadowed within a female hand. Through this, Chiarelli has paid poignant tribute to Plath whilst sensitively presenting to the reader the act of her suicide; which of course is well documented.
Perhaps the most significant tribute of the collection lies in the center; August, when she writes of Aeronwy Thomas. Aeronwy is extremely significant to Chiarelli, she has worked with and on behalf of Thomas many times and they had a great friendship. Chiarelli’s feelings towards her and the South Wales landscape are evident when she refers to Thomas’ star as ‘bright and pure’. Furthermore, she reminds us how the words of Thomas are ‘still and always here to create images and soft tunes intoned slowly by the breath of the Welsh sea’. One is in no doubt when reading ‘Poem for Aeronwy Thomas’ that Chiarelli has been influenced and touched by her, she takes this with an inspiration from nature to encompass the soft purity that Aeronwy represented for her. The result is a beautiful piece that leaves an imprint on the reader long after the poem has been enjoyed.
In a time where the conversation regarding women and values is prominent we are gifted a collection by a female dedicated to multiple, important women throughout time and thus Tramonto in una tazza Sunset in a cup is significant, well-timed and appropriate. Chiarelli is thoughtful in her words and delivery and thus, we are gifted poetry rich with imagery and themes of nature and art that can be both relished and appreciated in equal measure. Chiarelli herself stated that ‘Tramonto in una tazza Sunset in a cup’ is a tribute to her own inspirations and the result is a plethora of poetry that can provide inspiration to her readers also. It cannot be denied that the poetry within will provide enjoyment and consideration that will move past the page, into the mind and remain there long after the book has been put down.
Sinergie dei “Tramonti in una tazza” di Lidia Chiarelli
Leggendo le poesie di Lidia Chiarelli dedicate a dodici poetesse e scrittrici inglesi e americane, composizioni scalate una per mese e distese sulla ideale fascia temporale di un anno, ci si trova in un regno di armonia globale in cui vari regni coesistono in equilibri ideali fatti di musica, immagini, temperature, cicli e fenomeni di natura.
Una continua sinestesia avvolge la poetica di Lidia, che si abbevera alla fonte inesauribile della personale sensibilità stabilita con la natura. L’omaggio alle figure femminili si plasma in accordi tratti dalla musica, dalle melodie, dalle armonie uditive che convivono con le immagini di piante, fiori, giardini, con i sentori odorosi da essi sprigionati, con le luci e le temperature delle notti, dei giorni, delle stagioni. Donne come sinergie paniche con il tutto, un tutto inteso nel senso di armonia del Creato, che Lidia rende tangibile e godibile in una poesia trasparente, cristallina, sensibile e sussurrata.
Milano, 25 febbraio 2018
Lidia Chiarelli – Tramonto in una tazza – Sunset in a cup
Edizioni Esordienti E book
Moncalieri Torino 2017 ISBN 978-88-6690-382-6
Premio Nazionale di Arti Letterarie Metropoli di Torino – XIV edizione
Segnalazione di Merito – Premio Nazionale Il Meleto di Guido Gozzano – VII edizione
Disponibile nelle seguenti biblioteche degli Stati Uniti: Main Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County – Ohio, Monroe County Public Library Key West - Florida, Nashville Public Library - Tennessee, Jacksonville Public Library - Illinois
- in Canada: Middlesex County Library, Ontario CA
Nomination al Pushcart Prize 2018 (USA) per 5 poesie di Tramonto in una tazza-Sunset in a cup
Review of “SUNSET IN A CUP” by Lidia Chiarelli
Great Review by Mary Gorgy
Great Idea – visual and verbal companionship
Great Poems and digital Creations.
Lidia Chiarelli has been inspired by twelve women authors. She has created her own poems to accompany their lives and literary works.
There is a poem for each month of the year: January-Virginia Woolf,
February-Edith Sitwell, March-Emily Dickinson, April-Dorothy Parker, May-Edna St. Vincent Millay, June-Vita Sackville West,
July-Sylvia Plath, August-Aeronwy Thomas, September-Daphne Du Maurier, October-Christina Rossetti, November-Charlotte Bronte,
‘The Call’ to Virginia Woolf is particularly powerful in the context of Virginia Woolf’s manner of dying. The ‘Black Ravens’ are sinister as their secondary meaning signifies death. They circle around the door as Virginia Woolf closes it and shuts out her past world. There is a ‘call’ that implies an extra controller who beckons her to the river’s edge. A strong image answers ‘The Call’ – Virginia Woolf is ‘docile’ as she wades into the river with heavy stones in her coat pocket. Her end is ‘an icy embrace’, without struggle, without turning back, being ‘gently wrapped’ in a cold death. To accompany this poem is a digital overlay of a portrait of a pensive Virginia Woolf with the river in the background – all expressed in a cold blue.
Lidia Chiarelli has chosen a wonderful short story writer in Katherine Mansfield. For her, Lidia Chiarelli has chosen to write in rhyming couplets – a careful skill. The poem refers to the society that interested Katherine Mansfield - garden parties, cups of tea and ‘sentimental weddings’. The poem ends with an appeal that Katherine Mansfield be ‘our guide’ into her enchanted settings. The digital over-lay with Lidia Chiarelli’s “Katherine’s World” is a portrait of Mansfield and ‘falling ashes’.
There are ten additional poems to enjoy the imagery and conceits contained in Chiarelli’s writing.
Be certain to unfold the front cover flat in order to enjoy the colourful ‘sunset’ colours that Emily Dickinson watches, at the top right hand corner and Virginia Woolf’s river that flows through the bottom left hand corner. This cover and the “Back to Britain” painting of the white cliffs of Dover and the graceful gliding birds at the end of the collection of poems are from the exciting work of Gianpiero Actis.
Allen Jacobs MA University of London
Rhydlewis, Llandysul, October 14, 2017
Patricia Holt and Lidia Chiarelli
I hardly know where to start, with all the layers of my being you have touched with your book! Your captivating poetry itself, your artistic and technical skill in the collages, your concept in how you created the book and honored some of my own favorite women poets and writers with your own precious words, your provocative photo on the back flap (how was that done?!), the design and production of the book …! Truly, I am entirely touched and inspired by your creation and salute you in all ways. You honor these women, not only in singling them out, but with your own poetic expression. Bravo!
Big Sur, January 5 2018
... wonderful choices of creative expression in such an aesthetic presentation ...
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld
Big Sur, January 10 2018
Ho letto con molta attenzione la raccolta di Lidia Chiarelli intitolata 'Tramonto in una tazza' e ho apprezzato , oltre all'eleganza, l'idea originale del controcanto con i versi chiave delle poetesse prescelte, a testimonianza delle sue predilezioni poetiche e delle sue affinità di pensiero con la loro scrittura. Controcanto in versi, un'idea originale e vincente che le ha permesso di cogliere e mettere in evidenza i particolari caratterizzanti del loro'essere' in poesia e del suo percepirne i loro pensieri chiave . La raffinatezza e delicatezza di scrittura è esaltata dagli splendidi collages: anche l'editore ha fatto la sua parte. Il risultato è di una raccolta bella e raffinata.
Anna Maria Bracale Ceruti, scrittrice
Torino 18 settembre 2017
There are two special times in the day: the time just before we fall asleep and
the time just before we wake up.
The words and images in this book feel to me as if these were found by Lidia Chiarelli in those moments.
The "portrait" of each writer in this book is rendered in that in-between world of being awake and being asleep when
impressions wash over us.
What makes this no ordinary book is Chiarelli's creativity in how she pairs a poem with a pictorial presentation
so that the two do not repeat each other, but resonate with each other.
Neal Whitman, Poet
May 18 2017