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When poetry investigates “time” In the collection of poems by Apulian Enrico Fraccacreta the comparison between Time with a capital “t” and that of his personal experience. In the wake of T. S. Eliot by Sergio D’Amaro
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This new book, Tempo ordinario (afterword by D. Rondoni, Passigli, 84 pages, 12.50 euros), by Enrico Fraccacreta, an Italian poet from San Severo, in the north of Puglia, is his most personal and his most ambitious. Split into three parts – Tempo ordinario, Tempo memorabile and Tempo matematico – each of these is introduced by epigraphs in the sibylline lines of Thomas S. Eliot referring to time. Why his most personal and most ambitious? Simply because Fraccacreta creates a tension between Time with a capital “t” and the time of his own experience, while trying to untangle the mysteries of this almost inhuman challenge, measured as it is between the eternal and the precarious, between universal mystery, and the humble mystery of which man is made.

A moment “in time” and not “of time”, explaining with Eliot. But Fraccacreta knows that in this punctuality, in this dense, proteiform explosion of life, are to be gathered the necessary, lacerating questions of the twentieth-century wayfarer, outstretched over the abysses of conscience and memory. Behind the author lies anything but a waste land. Instead there is a flourishing garden of trees, plants, fields, a variety of birds, and busy streams of water: this is the world that has accompanied his growth; the pulsating nature of the Tavoliere and the Gargano, which in their landscapes, in their geometry and in their perspective have brought together the most intimate and essential meaning of the personal destiny of the poet. Who, like never before in his previous works – Tempo medio (1996), Camera di guardia (2006) and Mademoiselle (2012) – is willing to take a more demanding look without any philosophical delay. And the psychological and investigative pressure is such that Fraccacreta lets the creatures he evokes take over the narrative; the oaks and the wind fanners, the sky and the clouds, so that they continue the metaphor of a dialogue with the years, with the past, with the people he has met and left behind in a world that has disappeared (of particular importance are the author’s father and the famous comic-strip artist Andrea Pazienza). It is as if our author had called up in this book all that is sayable in his poetic language, in itself dynamically disposed towards metaphoric leaps and sensorial quakes, and so shaky and prehensile, like those who are (as also Davide Rondoni underlines in his afterword) used to traveling and watching the landscape moving with the time and moving consciences. It is, of course, not to be concealed that Fraccacreta owes this attention to the land, to his own land, to his calling as an agronomist, so he is trained in the mutation and the regeneration of nature. As well as pietas, here there is both Heraclitean dramatic awareness and rich, Proustian sweetness: a backwards glance with memorial lamps and the urge to look forwards, to guess at a passage beyond all the stations. 

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