With wings of swans the moths 
preface by Dino Ales

       Words painted,
       like stones

“The time of grapes, time mature and fruitful ” is one of Pablo Neruda’s lines, which begin each new verse in the last work of this collection.

“The time of grapes” is also used by Maria Stella Filippini Di Caro to paraphrase her “dies irae”. Days of ire,time for judgement: the liturgical hymn composed by Tommaso da Celano traditionally expresses in dramatic and apocalyptic manner the terror of antique, medieval, pre-conciliar Christianity in the face of Final Judgement.

The time of grapes, on the other hand, as sung by Neruda and adopted by our author, is a happy poetic intuition that makes the idea of the end of time coincide with the triumph of peace, the defeat “of the puppet-masters of the world” and the “Voice” that “will speak” will bring a sense of pardon, not of castigation.
This is one of the most outstanding of the themes treated by Filippini’s poetry: in other lines she has imagined the condemnation of the “ferrymen of death, promoters of futility”, of those who “ life upon life/as though they were merely traces/dashed off in careless haste”.

She has expressed her painful stupor at the massacres of our time: “And still today, you know, still today/on sacrifical altars they slit lambs’throats!”.

She has often raised her voice in condemnation of injustice and violence. But she has shouted her pity, her compassion for man’s pains and has, above-all, invoked pardon for sinners.

Here, then, “the time of grapes” gets the better of “dies irae”.
Here is divine poetic inspiration that, in the image-rich turgidity, in the fulness of strong emotions, is transformed into poems of hope, prophecies of happy times for Man. (...)

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Edition by Bonfirraro Editore - anno 2001 - Translation by Peter Russel and Joan Beeching - On the cover "Melagrana", work by Maestro Silvio Benedetto - The lines for Neruda are from
: "Pelleas y Melisanda", "El hondero entusiasta", "Veinte poemas de amor y una cancìon desesperada", "Cien sonetos de amor" di Pablo Neruda


Vaso de resonancias y de estrellas cautivas
A hollow waste of echoes and of fated stars
the Valley of the Painted Stones
Is lit up by the moon at full
that glides above the lapidary marguerites
And fills abundantly
tangles of dried-up grasses
calixes corollas with intensest coulours
annuls at once all differences
traces the journey of the spirits
denuded of all robes and laurels
And to overarching iris
there where the heavens drown
in whirlwind spaces and high-pitched
opens the seal and issues
the appeal to order.
En la noche toda ella de metales azules
In the night, all dark blue steely metal,
the identity of all times breaks free
opening the way to the other journey,
and goes forward without hindrances
softening dark patches in the rotted stones
Dazzling languors are born
in the side of the steep hill
where Cerberus green and black
inflecting fiery eyes
fangs and claws
in time with the avid triple throats
stands on guard in the Inferno
The hook that holds them tight
would shiver into pieces
if the Angel once arose
Mas allà de esos muros, de esos limites, lejos
Beyond those walls far-off beyond those bounds
bound to each other go Paolo and Francesca
Like wandering clouds smoothly light as feathers
sail above seething swarms
silver-tinted teeming with dew and smoke
in the fearful silence of the spheres
You do not see the sea that licks
with its wild seahorses the waters’ edge
nor does the sun give light to the roses
prisoned in stretches of the breeding-grounds
Acrobat gulls and slow-flying doves
weave in and out in wide and wider spirals
grazing the cirrus in their migrations earth to sky
on the canvas of the heavens
alas so cruelly distressed
Dan ganas de gemir el mas largo sollozo
There comes the will to moan the extreme lament
tear upon tear to shed
on Lascivia’s all too ready breasts
sensual and compelling always
On the blackening wound in the belly
on the flame of scorching pleasure
the nocturnal Goddess spreads misty films
with decent modest looks
and with pale fingers
softens the fevers of her shameless teats
Wild beasts without rein or snaffle or bit
with bloodshot speckled pupils
Their minds obfuscated
silvered over their flowing manes
deft hocks lewd loins
Se descine la niebla en danzantes figuras
The mist fades out in dancing figures
faces all of grey
swollen eyes, deformed backs
Men they are and women
worn-out with worn-out limbs
Suffering on sharp jutting rocks
one against another
rolling over and inflamed with anger
and all resistant to the waves
go seeking a secure foothold
which soon as found crumbles at the touch
Where there is never daylight and never will it dawn
where the night is an abyss
there is no place for the lamb
or for his Shepherd
El temporal de audillos y lamentos y fiebres
The storm of lamentations, howls and fevered shrieks
breaks on the washers of brains
the avid feelers of Sodom and Gomorra
the heretics and usurers
the violent
the fraudulent
Brushstrokes of liquid fire
of ice
of rock
rain on their flesh that burns
that freezes
that rends
In vain they seek the eyes
the far-off spring
eternity of torches and of hands
En la noche toda ella de astros frios y errantes
In the night that’s packed with cold and wandering stars
the rosy veil of dawn begins to spread
fringes the mystery
The moon illuminates the meadow flowers
lights up the spikes of lavender
censes the faces on the stones
washes away their outlines
Penetrates into the leafy bodies of the vile
where Harpies ogle
and bratches yearning bay
Intense and searching looks scan
the marked lingerings of colours
and a dizzines overtakes
in the wake of snakes and scorpions
in tangles of eternal lianas
Tuerce y destuerce largos collares aterrados
The reflex in the many-coloured movement
twists and untwists the long terrified lines
Slides on the quivering rocks
strikes grimacing mouths
consoles mouths in delirium
listens to mouths in supplication
awakens mouths in prayer
quickens mouths to pardon
Enters into desperate mouths and departs
Caresses the first woman
and a flash and a circle pursues
in rhythmic gait
in the performance of muscles and hands
at the opening of the flower and of the fruit
which empties itself of the seed
En el atardecer resonante y muriendo
In the resonant and dwindling twilight
it lightens the darkness, spurs on the breeze
penetrates tortuous ravines clogged with sand
that scalds them still and shakes them
From cane brakes spread oppressive damps
Advancing ever heavy on the way
and hurries forward where the air
in scented with jonquil and wistaria
In the distance there shimmers a drifting gleam
Field by field the stubble burns
the sky bursts into flower
and the St.Lawrence’ stars are falling
One here is all light and it’s come from far
another hazy and fades as fast as it arrives
The Valley distends them and embraces them
Caen, mueren las llamas en la noche infinita
The flames fall in the infinite night and die away
on those who are in the world
ferrymen of death, promoters of futility
medusas spinning out horrors
On those who on the Earth
trace borders and limits
with wasps on their tongues
and rubble and splinters in their hands
On those who rub out life upon life
As though they were merely traces
dashed off in careless haste
and excavate trenches and pits
and raise up burial mounds
where they have cut off flowers of living flesh
De bruces frente al muro que azota el viento inmenso
On all fours in front of the wall that the immense wind lashes
each one has his keen-eyed lynx
his tormentor and persecutor
the friend who bites his side
Between arrows and flames without badges and banners
on invisible frigates we shall leave one day
in search of the lost landing-place
Navigators of crystal
like Ulysses we shall follow the route
on the road to the Sun
Panting we shall climb the steep stair
traced in shadow
and from shadow to light
when the simander shall sound
He who Sees shall be our guide
Flechas de oro que atajan en vano las estrellas
Arrows of gold that in vain pursue the stars
the sun’s rays wake their consciences
Provoke harrowing groans
of pain from the flock
From the magical valley
the stones speak with the voice of air
of dawns and of sunsets
The stones speak with the voice of the tree
of flowers and of fruits
The stones speak with the voice of waters
of rivers and of seas
The stones howl with the voice of winds
of storms and of hurricanes
Where are you flying with a bird’s wings
where and why?
Zumba el vuelo perdido de las lechuzas ciegas
The lost flight of the blind owls whirrs
above the towering giants
cloaked in the liquefied sun
Where are you fleeing they still are asking
We tell you stories of soldiers
Whom the spring decks with flowers
of birds of the water and of the sky
which have sown disorder
Of meteors which destroy everything we speak
and of windmills stopping and starting
aimlessly, that have lost their arms
at the laughter of unbridled intemperate witches
with tight-clenched teeth
And still today, you know, still today
on sacrifical altars they slit lambs’ throats
Corriendo hacia la muerte como un grito hacia el eco
Running forwards towards death as a cry towards its echo
the stones seem like white eagles
making the colours dance
in the storm of sky
They fly above kindled ovens
that give no bread
Wombs that do not give life
breasts without milk
and sons made fatherless
They see lands in movement
that crush lands and annihilate them
They see volcanoes boiling and rivers
that men make red
overflowing red
in the impervious expanses of life
En esta nave o agua o muerte o nueva vida
In this ship either water or death or new life
in the provisional silence of the Valley
From the profound mystery of the spheres
the Winged Stones swaying return
and swaying speak
symbiotic parables
Pardon them, pardon them!
Submerged in the scorching ice
to where the surveying eye of the Beast tirelessly ranges
with outstretched arms
and hands and palms held up to view
with sorrow and with hope
purging their errors
the sinners all stand
pardon them Lord
El tiempo de las uvas, el tiempo maduro y frutal
The time of grapes, time mature and fruitful,
will come and at its onset
trophies of war will fall
and Peace be naked and proud
With great wings of swans
The moths will fly up from the fire
the puppet-masters of the world
will be unknown figures
the defeated jugglers of power
The Voice will speak out and he who listens
will hear the soft fresh breeze of pardon
no longer absent and there will be fat and dark earth
for fertile fields and full granaries
There will be no birth
and there will be no memory of death.

No end

One thousand years and more
the mountain:

Oh becoming

and sweet scents
sweet scent of rose
and skies
skies of light
and light
from the beginning
of time forever.