The New Poetry

Influenced by Frank O'Hara's avant-pop sensibilities, West German Rolf Dieter Brinkmann's most influential book, Westwärts 1 & 2, was published shortly after his death at 35, in 1975. It included this poem, translated into English for the first time by Yale professor John MacKay. The celebratory "O!," one notes, is shaped equally like a piazza, and like a void.


Hymn to an Italian Square

O Piazza Bologna in Rome! Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro and Banco Di Santo Spirito, Pizza Mozzarella Barbiere, Gomma Sport! Gipsi Boutique and Willi, Tavola Calda, Esso Servizio, Fiat, Ginnastica,

Estetica, Yoga, Sauna! O Bar Tabacci und Gelati, wide rear-ends in Levi's Jeans, breasts or tits, everything firm, clamped in, Pasticceria, Marcelleria! O little sidelights, Vini, Oli, Per Via Aerea,

Eldora Steak, Tecnotica Caruso! O Profumeria Estivi, Chiuso Per Ferie Agosto, o Lidia Di Firenze, Lady Wool! Cinestop! Green Bus! O lines 62 and 6, small change! O Avanti green! O where? P.T. and Tee Fredo,

Visita Da Medico Ocultista, Lenti A Contatto! O Auto Famose! Ritz crackers, Nuota Con Noi, o Grace! Tutte Nude! O Domenica, trash, plastic bags, pink! Vacanze Carissime, o Nautica! Skin, back, tanned

thighs, o spot of oil, Ragazzi, Autovox, gravel! And Oxford, Neon, Il Gatto Di Brooklyn Aspirante Detective, melons! Walls! Cunts! Garlic! Grated Parmigiano! O dim Minimarket Di Frutta, Istituto Pirandello, Inglese

Shenker, shutters! O yellowbrown dog! Around the corner Banca Commerziale Italia, fleas, air brakes, BP Coupons, Zoom! O Eva Moderna, Medaglioni, Tramezzini, Bollati! Aperto! Locali Provvisori! Balconies, o shadows

with oil, leaves, Trasferita! O Ente Communale Di Consumo, on the wall! O strictly-closed Bar Ferranzi! O quiet on the streets! Guerlain, dogturd, Germain Montail! O Bar Fascista Riservata Permanente, Piano! O soldiers,

Operette, revolvers against the hips! O Super Pensione! O shape of beast! O Farmacia Bologna, wrecked corners of houses, Senso Unico! O Scusi! O Casa Bella! O Ultimo Tango Pomodoro! O Sciopero! O Lire! O shit!

 
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