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Publication: Atlanta Review : ARAuthor: Magrelli, Valerio
Date published: April 1, 2011
Brackish water, not sweet nor salty,
but salty and sweet.
That's what happens when the rivers
of war and of peace
flow into a single marsh,
in a stagnation of life
infested by death,
in an effervescence of death
polluted by life.
The door of Janus's Temple
is the one invented by Duchamp,
opened and closed at once:
it doesn't keep the monsters outside
nor welcome them in.
translated by Moira Egon
Translator's note. "Wace" is the muddled mixture of war and peace that's so characteristic of our time.
Valerio Magrelli was born in Rome in 1957. He is a poet, critic, and essayist, and Professor of French Literature at the University of Cassino. He has published numerous volumes of poetry, criticism, translation, and prose. His many awards include the Mondello Prize, the Viareggio Prize for poetry, the CetonaVerde Prize, and the Montale Prize.