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Metafora, poems by Giuseppe Schirò Di Maggio.

We receive and publish a reading note from Gian Piero Stefanoni, Roman poet and critic, on the volume "Metafora" poems by Giuseppe Schirò Di Maggio.

Enjoy the reading

Salvatore Vasotti

Giuseppe Schirò Di Maggio ex teacher, born in 1944, poet, theater author, essayist, certainly remains among the most relevant figures of Arberëshe poetry and culture in Italy. Originally from Piana degli Albanesi working on several occasions, in the most diverse facets, for the protection and knowledge of a civilization that has its roots in our country since the 15th century, he gives us a work whose value is watched not only in our country, or in Albania itself, but also by the Albanian minorities of Macedonia and Montenegro.

Schirò (whose suffix Di Maggio is a tribute to his mother not to be confused with the numerous homonyms) becoming a good heir of that group that immediately fought for the transmission of an identity engraved within a national civic sense and a very strong faith has the merit in the texts (in bilingual version) presented here at the turn of two millennia to give us back to starting from the song a question on what remains and on what can still be said, and keeping of so much civilization amidst the dangers and passages of an uncontrollable age in the uniformity of its directions and its cancellations.

This is a text born around 1990 from the intertwining between a tour with the theater group "Mondo Albanese" and reflections born from books and stories of friends with the interventions of the Albanian language and literature teacher of the University of Naples Italo Costante Fortino aimed at fix - as recalled by Matteo Mandalà in the preface - "three tendencies, three poetics in today's Italian-Albanian poetry": the first refers to ethnicity as a metaphor, the second to the country as a metaphor, the third to the earth as a metaphor (in the respective names of Vorea Ujko, Giuseppe Schirò Di Maggio, Kate Zuccaro).

In the promptness of a non-controversial but clarifying response, Di Maggio then underlined, thus giving rise to these verses, that ethnicity and land "are nothing but variations of the same theme that is the country", in his figure at the same time as ethnic custodian and land itself (living by it), ending up finally dissolving in poetry in its anthropization, in its data as a "human-person" aware of an ethnolinguistic minority condition that can be expressed only in fragments, to say therefore the whole reality of a world albeit at risk still very much alive. A splendidly resonant world in all its most intimate facets we must say, in crossing the countries with which the reader and the author enter into dialogue or listen to the story of a self caressed, prodded, embraced to the test of the modern and of an open and increasingly advancing globalization.

And there are exactly fifty-four centers to which a voice is given within the exact range of all the communities present in Italy in a very rich geography that from Sicily to Calabria includes the rest of the south up to the Molise and Abruzzese appendages (in the province of Campobasso and Pescara ), each perhaps with the subtle pride of representing the Italian-Albanian universe more than the others. This is partly true, in each one the seal of a truth skillfully given in all its records, historical, geographical, human in the exposure of a single community now powerless to the aggressions and charms of progress and a technology that is being lost if same time ready, proudly ready, clinging not only in its streets, in its walls, in its counterparts from the sea to a culture jealously guarded in the bosom of its language and its generations.

And in fact all the dictation in Schirò is in this struggle between the seduction of a time unable to question oneself in the exercise of oneself and at the same time the resistance and openness of a minority of men and women in the reinforcement of the identity imprint of origin that it finds strength in the cement of a bond that occurs as it is natural for generations, where language, culture, liturgies of faith, ancient rites are heated by the fire of collective participation, as in the passage dedicated to Keiverici - Cavallerizzo di Cerceto, in the province of Cosenza in which so much flame, speaking of metaphors, is still alive in the food of a party around whose fire families multiply in saying each other. Because, it is good to remember, the dictation from which these verses move is not in a sterile, empty juxtaposition of worlds and reasons, of times each in the exclusivity of their own aspirations, but of stories between pronunciations of an existence that cannot deny if itself and the natural needs of a greater History than of those stories, however, it seems unable or unwilling to feed itself. This is a discourse in relation to linguistic minorities and the problems inherent in an increasingly fragile survival that cannot fail to bring to mind other realities such as, limiting ourselves to the south of Italy, just wanting to mention a few names, those of the griko of Salento or the Croatian community of Molise although even more minority and endangered expressions than the arbererësh one.

So it is in the language where identity preservation takes place in the early involvement of an otherwise dispersed youth, once in the call of emigration now "in the forest-homologation" of "a non-consequential life, / changed the hours, changed the toothed mechanisms / and the metal fingers that mark them ", and which can always be freed, however, from the dust of a culture no longer imprisoned in customs whose meaning has been lost but lit up in its very being as once homeland for those who lost it," period firm for those who want future and progress ”(read, again from the province of Cosenza, the verses from Shën Mitri-San Demetrio Corone).

The appeal as per the ancient invocation is resolved in Schirò in the dialogue woven and returned here in the light of a source whose fullness is still felt with the great authors of the previous tradition, from Vorea Ujko himself to Girolamo De Rada, by Giulio Variboba to Giuseppe Zep and Karmel Kandreva and from which together in an all-Mediterranean fascination one is sucked into the wonder and chiaroscuro of worlds said most often by evocation in the body of a language that the language version can inevitably only at times return. Starting from this we would still have a lot to say about an author and a poem that tugging at us ends up belonging to us, of that belonging in the differences given by a more expressly human condition of ethnicity, land and country, but we rather leave space in the invitation reader in the personal encounter with a word and a mystery in the word itself eternally reborn, with a burning passion from the "brightest of lovers", as in the closing statement: "more than spontaneous dinners in which / wine was poured from earth to blood".

Salvatore Sciascia editore, Caltanissetta, 2005.

Gian Piero Stefanoni thanks the author Gian Piero Stefanoni and the online cultural magazine "il Pensiero Mediterraneo"



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