last moon

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Manifesto for a new Magazine

Ars Poetica Magazine is a new literary review for classic and modern poetry, edited both in english and italian languages. 
The first number will be issued very soon. The magazine won'nt follow a regular,   periodic publication but it will be issued as we need. 
The name of the Magazine has been chosen thinkink at the contents of  the Horace's work (also known as the Epistle to Piso) incredibly pungent and present after more than 2000 years.  
The work attracted the attention of Giacomo Leopardi who made i , in 1811 , a fine octave transposition in rhyme. 
 Our references will so swing between these two great poets: Horace and Leopardi.
This does not mean that our magazine won't take in the right count other great poets like Dante, Tasso, Ariosto or Manzoni; neither we aim to slide over the greatness of such a literary giants as Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Byron or Dickinson. But the two orienting poles will be the latin poet from Venosa and
the great recanatian author of the "Infinito" and of the transposition of the horacian  "Ars Poetica".
Nowdays there are so many poets writing so many poems so much long! And all seems to be so easy!
That's due to the general literacy which took place in the last century and there is nothing bad on it.
Nevertheless there is a precious heritage of poetic culture which is on risk to be lost.
Words are  like  rough stones: before they become verses or poetry, they need to be smoothed like river's stones.

Horace uses a more efficient metaphore in his epistole to Piso:" If you want to deserve altars or temples / wait at least nine years, dear brother / before to publish your poems/and work on them as blacksmith does to make the iron shape!!! " And forward in the poem: " But if you are in  search of  honor and praise / writing four verses, oh Piso  / show them to your  parents or to a wise and good censor ;/ keep them locked up for a long time / for if a man has once ever escaped/  he's not  coming back never indeed ! "

 Of great poets of the past I appreciate their skill on shortness and synthesis. A skill that does not belong to free versifiers of present days. and neither they seem to shine for rhyming. Again with the Horace's words:

" Meanwhile, everyone is kindly asked to be short  / and either delight or to be useful in his rhymes! "

Of course I don't have nothing against blank verses or free versifiers; but I think that poetry has paid a price for the democrat diffusion of popular literacy. The quantity gained by poetry in width has been lost in depth.
So many writers confuse poetry and prose misregarding of any distinction. So, some writers, who could be so cool in prose,, become, with Horace's words, cruel poets:

" We can tolerate mediocrity in anything ;/ but not in  poetry: thus in honey /  choosey mouths do not like   / a bitter almond  inside . / The best would be to write on prose / if a versifier  is just too cruel / as the football player leaves balloon and balls / and  abandon the disc who is not too strong!

Metric patterns and poetic structures are not cages for prisoners but frames which bound to freedom and liberty is not equal to anarchy.
Poetry is nourishment for the souls and souls need only distilled food.
But whom readers does our Magazine apply to?
First of all we would like to recall those who love  poetry metrical structures (both poets or just readers); a poetry framed into patterns like terza rima, octaves and whatelse is made by syllables with the right accents.
Secondly our Magazine would like to approach the  Italian who live abroad (specially those who live in English speaking countries but not only them); either because they have emigrated or they live in foreign countries for different reasons; 
Finally everyone who wants to have a free change of ideas, even with those who might have different points sf view, are welcome for reading, commenting or contributing to our Magazine.
We'll give information of the web site publishing the contents of Ars Poetica Magazine, as soon as we are ready for publication.
I hope you'll be joining us for sharing time and ideas together. In the meantime, I wish all the best on your life.

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