Haiku for a Season / Haiku per una stagione
Andrea Zanzotto is one of the most important and acclaimed poets of postwar Italy. This collection of ninety-one pseudo-haiku in English and Italian—written over several months during 1984 and then revised slowly over the years—confirms his commitment to experimentation throughout his life. Haiku for a Season represents a multilevel experiment for Zanzotto: first, to compose poetry bilingually; and second, to write in a form foreign to Western poetry. The volume traces the life of a woman from youth to adulthood, using the seasons and the varying landscape as a mirror to reflect her growth and changing attitudes and perceptions. With a lifelong interest in the intersections of nature and culture, Zanzotto displays here his usual precise and surprising sense of the living world. These never-before-published original poems in English appear alongside their Italian versions—not strict translations but parallel texts that can be read separately or in conjunction with the originals. As a sequence of interlinked poems, Haiku for a Season reveals Zanzotto also as a master poet of minimalism. Zanzotto’s recent death is a blow to world poetry, and the publication of this book, the last that he approved in manuscript, will be an event in both the United States and in Italy.
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Translation Prize