Iginio Ugo Tarchetti

An author that I like very much is Iginio Ugo Tarchetti. I have read most of what he is written in Italian, and I know that a few of his books are available in English. I haven’t read these however, so can’t vouch for the quality of the translations.

Anyhow, here is a brief bio of his followed by a poem called Memento! which I translated, that was published a few years ago in a zine. It is very much in the vein of Poe:

I. U. Tarchetti.jpg 

  

Iginio Ugo Tarchetti (1839-1869)

I. U. Tarchetti was an Italian writer, who after abandoning a career in the military, settled in Milan, in order to seek his fortune in literature. He wrote articles for diverse periodicals, poems, several novels, including the anti-military Una Nobile Follia (1867) and his masterpiece Fosca (1869, translated as Passion, 1994).  The translation of his book Fantastic Tales (1869, translated 1992) was nominated for a Bram Stoker award in 1992.

 

Memento!

          When I kiss your perfumed lips,

Dear girl, I cannot forget

That a white skull is concealed beneath.          

          When I press your pretty body to mine,

Forget I cannot, dear girl,

That a skeleton is hidden beneath.          

          And in that horrifying vision, I am absorbed,

Whenever you touch or kiss, or lay on me your hand . . .

I feel protruding the cold bones of death!                                                                    

                                                  [Originally published in ‘Il Gazzetino’, 30 November, 1867]

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