“Sogni di carta” by Carlo Alessio Cozzolino: poetry is improvement, improvement, acceptance

“The beautiful hint of the worlds of dreams, in the production of which every human being is a full artist, is the precondition for any figurative art, indeed, as we shall see, also for a substantial half of poetry.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Paper Dreams by Carlo Alessio Cozzolin

Paper dreams, the title of the new collection of poems published by Carlo Alessio Cozzolino for the Bertoni types, expresses a rather strong and clearly explanatory and ostentatious starting point. It shows that poems are dreams made of paper, it shows that poetry is a paper dream.

In fact, only on paper poetic invention takes place, only on paper is poetry found. This has two consequences. The first is that only in the paper book can poetic dreams come true in their fullness, the second is that poems are paper dreams, even when written on digital media. But only the paper completes the essence of the poem. Paper is mankind’s most famous writing medium: men wrote on stone, on papyrus (by metonymy it can be called paper as it can be seen by try to explain chart Catullian) on parchment, on boards, but only the paper allowed the book to be distributed (starting above all from the birth of the printing house with Gutenberg) and culture.

Today, digital is without a doubt an indispensable resourceas it allows those who may not be able to temporarily go to the library, for example in the middle of a pandemic, to consult various books for study or work.

Let me be clear: I’m for the paper book, for physical libraries, places where I absolutely love to be; however, in case of need online support is useful and it does not conflict with the paper version if anything it implements it. Maybe you can flip through a digital book and / or listen to an audiobook and then, if interested, buy the paper in a more informed way.

In the light of the above, the charm of the card will never die. When buying a new book, one of the most recurring “practices” is that feel the texture of the sheets, whether they are smooth or rough, light or matte, and to smell them.

With this cultural image in mind, it’s nice to think about it Cozzolino leaves his words to the paper so the latter is the guardian of his dream. This arouses even more recognition if we consider that the author, born in Sassari, but transplanted to Lombardy, has a scientific background. A sign that the sensitivity of the mind is transverse.

And how are these dreams about Cozzolino?

At the bottom there is a constant recurring element within the approximately seventy pages of the collection, there brevitas some textswhich immediately and unequivocally refers to Hungary. Those who, like me, love this giant in the twentieth century immeasurably, can not fail to experience the pleasure of acknowledging an affinity. Some poems are longer than othersbut almost always characterized by short lines and not always orthodox punctuation.

The opera opens Without title, to indicate the pluralism of dreams and emotions arising from direct contact with nature. Similarly in poetry To dream the lyrical self “lying on the grassy shore of the lake “he begins to imagine and is first in front of the” abyss / called “dream“Then is finally in front”an infinite expanse“…”with all its beauty“… with “Children playing with being adults, / Unaware of their happiness, / And adults playing with being children, / Aware of their sorrow. And there, lying on the grassy shore of the lake, / With a book imprisoned in hands, / was there a boy, / a boy, / a boy who dreamed, / dreamed of dreaming ”.

Witnessing everything is the lyrical self, observation of nature and her soul; often nature becomes a reason for comparison, as loaded Seagull: “And the two of us, / observe a seagull’s silent / sliding […] But in your eyes / hope, / on your lips / comfort, / in your heart / love, / and in the starlight, / silent as a seagull, / have you gone away ”. In these verses I can not help but see a reference to Vincenzo Cardarelli (1887 Corneto Tarquinia – 1959 Rome) especially to the famous Abandonment: “You flew, fled / like a dove / and you got lost there, to the east./ But the places that saw you are back / and the hours for our meetings./ Desolate hours, / places that have become a grave for me / a which I keep an eye on “. I note in the margin that the Lazio poet also wrote a poem dedicated to the gulls.

Similarly returns to Cozzolino, we read in Of soul and tears: “But this love / it’s like a kite flying and you flew away.” The echo of the great writers remains and accompanies the reader: “I drown / in this my pain” is the end of the poem Attention and refers immediately to “Shipwrecks are sweet to me in this sea” by Leopardi’s memory; always in Recanatese it seems to allude to the end of Poetry: “Or dizzying sea to drown in”. This last text also has an acronym, which by reading all the first letters of each verse vertically reads the word Exile. After all, exile, abandonment, loneliness are recurring themes in this florilege and once again they are wisely rejected according to the chronology of Italian literature, both in terms of the classics, such as Petrarch, who can only find solace in solitary nature (“Another screen I do not find that I escape / from the manifesto accorger de le genti, / because in the evening’s actions off / from the outside one reads how I inside avampi: // yes I think now that monti et piagge / a rivers and forests know what temperament / my life is which is hidden from others “), both in the comparison of its modern forms, which push for innovative solutions also at the graphic level, an aspect to which our contemporary poetry owes much for example, to the calligrams of Apollinaire.

The poets confided their illusions to the paper: for example, Petrarch, in poetry Alone and thoughtful first remembered, finally he must come to terms with the love that tears him apart who manages to find him wherever he goes. Likewise Cozzolino: “High / In the sky / The stars are consumed / Like my paper dreams”; after all, the poet, “Suspended / Between heaven / And earth / Prisoner / Of his own song / Knows no peace”, as we learn in the homonymous composition.

Yet poetry gives strength to accept pain, and to be reborn in the spirit that cyclically animates everything. And so the Sardinian writer claims to have seen “Phoenix / Rice Organs / From the Ashes / Of Pain”. This is the result of the verses mentioned Pneuma with subtitles in parentheses “animating world spirit“. How not to think about stoicismto the ability to resist of Leopardi going fromLast Canto by Sappho by Broom?

With this new strength, with which we reach the center of this worthy collectionit is recognized that Happiness is “Walk on the thin line / off the horizon”.

anyway The flower of evil it is always there and hangs over us, or rather next to us as a conversation partner to entrust the pain: “The lively flower of evil” the lyric of the same name ends, again with the singular-plural play already seen with Cardarelli, to the collection The flowers of evil by Charles Baudelairebut also, if desired, to the former Ginestra. These flowers are like a breathable element that reveals the truth to man and comforts him.

Carlo Alessio Cozzolino

Man is given to dreambut “Dreams are unspoken words”, or words that have not yet been realized or never realized, such as paper dreams that may constitute a realization project and not the realization itself. There is a strong risk that dreams will remain that waybut they remain preferable to reality, composed of “Empty words”. To live in fullness is to dream, while living in the void is to remain bound to reality. Thus the poem learns To live is to dream. Nietzsche in the masterpiece of philological exegesis that he is The birth of tragedy he does nothing but point out that the poetic illusion is the only one worth noting. Poetry is the hope that “The words have just outlined” have form and “substance” or “light”, as darkness Plotinally would be the indistinct ballast of indefinite matter.

But the light of the poem is uncertain, it is still “foolish,” as one of the last texts is called. How can we not think of the skepticism of the Greeks, the Socratic doubts or once again Ungaretti? In fact, the Hungarian reference to the poet’s role is evident here, and with words taken from opera The buried harborI would like to leave you: “The poet comes / and then returns to the light with his songs / and spreads them // Of this poem / I still have / it nothing / of inexhaustible secret”. The opera also gave the title to one of the committees (1916), which later merged Encourage (1931). Alluding to the old buried harbor, that is, he disappeared and for this reason unknown to ancient Alexandria in Egypt, the poet’s birthplace, and to the poet who tries to find him as if he were an archaeologist.

Every poet is actually an archaeologist, or expert in the ancient and universal human tendency to dream of the beautiful, the good and regain it when people themselves or natural disasters bury everything with the ugly and the evil.

Poetry is healing, improvement, acceptance: it is Petrarca who manages to enter into dialogue with Love, who has hurt him so much, and who can only comfort him because dialogue, dialectics, doubt carry the words forward, and these tell of a possible healing of confrontation with others. Love is not a single love, as the sinner with Laura, but a philosopher, a principle worth knowing.

Thank you Carlo Alessio Cozzolino for alluding to the classics and thanks to the Bertoni publishing house, which is very active in promoting its authors, as well as to Stefano Paolo Giussani, who competently edited the preface of this editorial work.

Poetry deserves a future in our wonderful Italy! And it will only have that if brave publishers continue to promote it.

Ad maiora!

Written by Filomena Gagliardi


Carlo Alessio Cozzolino, Paper dreamsBertoni, Perugia 2021, seventy-three pages, 14 euros (with foreword by Stefano Paolo Giussani)

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