This long and autobiographical poem, written in 1966 and unfinished, is one of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lesser-known works —yet, as Pere Gimferrer states in his foreword, “one of the most striking by Pasolini as a poet, and also by Pasolini in general”. Translated by Gerard Cisneros and presented in a face-to-face bilingual edition, the poem is complemented by a number of footnotes that clarify some aspects of the life and works of the Italian writer. Poeta de les cendres is a book in free verse, of liberated poetry. A beautiful and rough text, where the years, the victories and failures, the flaws of his own life and of a fascist, communist, catholic and petite bourgeois Italy are all serenely and powerfully expressed; an unfinished and beautiful text, as unfinished and beautiful as his life was.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (Bologna, 1922 – Ostia, 1975) was an Italian writer, poet and film director. His poetic work, as well as his essays and his production as a journalist, combatively questioned official Marxism and Catholicism, censuring their poor understanding of the cultural background of their own proletarian and rural bases. A central and controversial figure in 20th-century Italian literature.