The Beach (La Spiaggia)They’ve all gone away —the voice was blathering down the receiverThen, knowingly: — They’ll not return —.But todayon this stretch of beach never visited beforethose sunlight patches...Signalsof theirs, who hadn't left at all?And when you turn they’re quiet, as if nothing.What’s being wasted from day to dayis not the dead, but it’s thosepatches of the nonexistent, lime or ashesready to become light and movement.Don’tbe in doubt, — the sea’s strength assails me —speak they will.Viewed as one of the most important Italian poets of the last century, Vittorio Sereni (1913–83) wrote with a historical sweep unlike that of any of his contemporaries. A poet of both personal and political responsibility, he wrote of life under fascism, military defeat and imprisonment, the Italian economic miracle and cold war in Europe, and the resurgence of extreme right-wing politics, as well as the roles played by love and friendship in the survival of humanity. An equally esteemed prose writer, his pieces on the contradictions of war and the complex purpose of poetry and the arts in society are seminal contributions to Italian literature.The first substantial translation of Sereni’s work published anywhere in the world, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni is a unique guide to this classic twentieth-century poet. This bilingual edition collects the most representative poems from Sereni’s oeuvre, as well as a selection of prose works that extends the themes of his poetry. The book also contains examples of Sereni’s short fiction, published here in English for the first time. With a full chronology, commentary, bibliography, and learned introduction by distinguished British poet and scholar Peter Robinson, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni is the only authorized rendering of Sereni’s verse in English.