Italian Poetry in translation

I Does Not Exist

by Gianfranco Palmery


In English:

Videoclips in English

In Four videoclip reading

Medusa videoclip reading


Poetry by the same author

Garden of Delights

In Four


Sonnets Under Arrest


About the author

Gianfranco Palmery

Critical acclaim



In Italian



Sonetti domiciliari

Gatti e prodigi

Giardino di delizie e altre vanità


L’io non esiste

Il poeta in 100 pezzi

Divagazioni sulla diversità

Italia, Italia

Profilo di gatta

Morsi di morte





I Does Not Exist
L'io non esiste di Gianfranco Palmery

Poems from the book L'io non esiste (I Does Not Exist) by Gianfranco Palmery

Translation by Barbara Carle


Prometheus Housebound

Liver ailment, Titanic ill,
makes a poor theme for domestic, domiciliary
verses. Although under arrest
it doesn’t mean chained to a ridge
of stone with the gnawing of the fatal
vulture swooping down and from its own remains
the immortal liver is rosily reborn.
Here torments are obscure, modest:
melancholy or black bile: a stigma
of petrified gall inflames
the side—cause or effect of the affliction?
Are the poisons descending? Or will
the fumitory infusions of morning
free the mind from its funerary indolence?



I am but verse, the direction
of a vacuous force, forced to consist
in that which doesn’t exist, yet unquestionable
as the truth of fiction…
Who rages in the mirror to be
my self? Eyes, moustache, hair
always ruffled—he pursues me
with his poses, grimaces, I can’t
get rid of him? Undaunted
and rash William Wilson challenges me
to mere tedium, to vexation—here petrified.
Languid or avid, consecrated to tears
or breaking into an unrefrained laugh
behind a mobile mask
a thousand faces await their certain turn:
the melancholic, the sick one, the rascal:
ironic insane saturnine:
daily ghost, mad night owl—
enough! mercy—mercy on me, on this
eternal little act—silence, off with the masks!
Let’s uncover the emptiness that plays destiny.


These translations by Barbara Carle are from Garden of Delights, Selected Poems, Gradiva Publications, New York, 2010.

Reviews of I Doesn't Exist (in Italian language)

Original Book

Gianfranco Palmery
L’io non esiste
2003 Pages 128 Euro 12,00

ISBN 978-88-89299-26-5


L'io non esiste di Gianfranco Palmery
Edizioni Il Labirinto