February 25, 2014
a canadian voice and italian sensibilities
I’ve been listening to a group of Canadian artists – Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot – and I’m surprised by the recurring language, themes, ideas. All talk about nature as landscape, nature as character. Mitchell talks about a river to skate away on; Cohen talks about hair on a pillow like a sleepy golden storm; Lightfoot sings about pussy-willows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses.
My own writing is full of winters, of big skies, of autumn landscapes, of sunsets and early mornings. My references are about the rhythms of rain, the winds of November, the closings of a December snowfall. I was born in Calabria, but I found the voice that I write in in Northern Ontario.
My sensibilities on the other hand are strictly Italian. (The image I wanted to use for the right was one in which the title – Partito dei Communisti Italiani – was pasted above a self-reflection in an announcement window.) I am an iconoclast and I always attribute that to my Italian ancestry.