February 2, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Tanya Larkin on Cavalli, Koch and Paestum: Is there a comparison?

“I don’t want to talk about love, I just want to make it happen.” (D’amore non voglio parlare, lo voglio solamente fare.) I hear this Patrizia Cavalli line, made famous by Kenneth Koch’s poem “Talking to Patrizia,” and I think I don’t want to talk about poetry, I just want to do it. And yet I’m talking about poetry here. And I’ll talk about it endlessly (like Patrizia talked about love in Koch’s poem)…or at least until the end of the week.

This reminds me of a Kenneth Koch comic I have upstairs in my bathroom. I’ll scan and post The Italian Cabdriver Comics and maybe a few others over the next few days. It goes like this: The Italian taxi driver said poetry? poetry in english? … Nay Nay Signore … poetry, poetry … is in Italian! … What is your word for nature, for example? … “Nature,” I said weakly, even though I knew I was defeated … Ah hah! exclaimed my driver Luigi Piccione, who was from Paestum, Lacania … but is now a resident of Rome … “In OUR language … IN OUR LANGUAGE” HE SAID “…” IT IS “… LA NATURA!

I was in Paestum. My sister and I did a wild boat and bus tour there about 15 years ago. It houses the enchanting Tomb of the Diver, a fresco of a diver painted on the interior of a tomb. At first people thought it was a diver’s grave. Then, given the things they found in the grave, a musician.

From the archive; first posted by Tanya Larkin on Jun 17, 2012