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The Oldest Hands in the World

The Oldest Hands in the World

5.0 1
by Daniele Pantano

Poetry. From accomplished translator Daniele Pantano, this is a rich and exciting collection of poems about exile, translingualism, and writing one's way home.


Poetry. From accomplished translator Daniele Pantano, this is a rich and exciting collection of poems about exile, translingualism, and writing one's way home.

Product Details

Black Lawrence Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Daniele Pantano is a Swiss poet, translator, critic, and editor born of Sicilian and German parentage in Langenthal (Canton of Berne). He is the author of THE OLDEST HANDS IN THE WORLD (Black Lawrence Press, 2010), and the translator of Robert Walser's OPPRESSIVE LIGHT (Black Lawrence Press, 2012) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt' s THE POSSIBLE IS MONSTROUS (Black Lawrence Press, 2010). His individual poems, essays, and reviews, as well as his translations from the German of works by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Georg Trakl, and Robert Walser, have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies worldwide, including Absinthe: New European Writing, The Baltimore Review, The Cortland Review, Conjunctions, Gradiva: International Journal of Italian Poetry, Guernica Magazine, Italian Americana, Jacket, The Mailer Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Versal, and Verse Daily. Pantano's poetry has been translated into several languages, including German, Albanian, Bulgarian, Kurdish, and Farsi. Pantano has taught at the University of South Florida and served as the Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Florida Southern College. He divides his time between Switzerland, the United States, and England, where he's Reader in Poetry and Literary Translation at Edge Hill University.

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The Oldest Hands in the World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
One wonders while absorbing the powerful poetry in this volume THE OLDEST HANDS IN THE WORLD why the poet's name is not immediately recognizable: this is most certainly the work of an accomplished master of the idiom. But this collection of poems is the first publication by Daniele Pantano of his own work: he has been a highly respected translator of the poetry of others for years. He was born in Switzerland of Sicilian and German parents and has lived in the United States and Switzerland and England where he is also known as a critic and a teacher. So much for the 'who is Daniele Pantano' information. What is far more important about discovering this poet is the power of communication he is able to distill in such short works. He is concerned with history and the crumbling changes history creates on not only the detritus of civilization but also on the sense of longevity and the mental images of the past we all have gathered as our heritage. He is a master wordsmith, creating panoramas of information with a brief phrase or even a single word. His structure of placing words on the page varies from poem to poem, depending on the intended impact: EROSION When the crisis of the sea declares her anger, the island women Fasten their clotheslines. Hang used panties for the wind to carry Their scent across the triangular land. And as the sea's spontaneous Capitulation adjourns another conquest, the men in the mountains thank Their saints for fertile land and curse the women for their wretched games. Or Pantano can write sensuously; FALLEN My grape harvest appeared meaningless. Until, among the vineyard's decay, I found Her skin. Her mind. November's gelid veins. I knew my thirst. So I crushed her body With the phallic weight of August - trousers Unbuttoned, skirts raised by gypsy hymns - To douse my lips with her caustic sap. Every grape reveals a different poison. Every woman stems from a different grape. His peripetetic lifestyle renders such beginnings to some poems like AMERIKA: Parked by the ocean, I can still hear you/In the first syllables of my new language./'Always keep the directions that brought you here.'/Foolish me, after a few days, I shredded/the map I knew like the lining of my pockets........What I wouldn't give for one quick glance/ At those directions - anew, inverted - body/ As knowledge, knowledge as body. You offer/Everything I've lost, but with this new tongue,/Hesitant to taste even the most familiar, I/No longer speak. In a language not mine, in all/New languages, all words spell "forgetting".......I'm left with years of white pages...... etc. The gamut of emotion, the intelligence of his articulations, but most of all the impact he has on the reader prove that this is a poet who will rise as high as the ether allows: EVERY SO OFTEN Remembrance appears As a reminder: nothing In out lives disappears. It all merely lingers - Faceless, here and there. And every so often It knocks on your door Seeking shelter for the night. How many of our poets can so succinctly see into our minds? Grady Harp