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Bufo - "Immagine" Analysis of the poem
[author: Sara Bufo - postdate: 2007-06-06]


From reading the title, the reader supposes the poem to be about a strong image that a picture recalls in the mind of the poet. As a matter of fact, the word “immagine” is often connected to memory, the bond being in the association between the present (the “immagine”) and the past (what it recalls).
A first reading will help understand the content.
From looking at the layout, the reader understands the text is poetic andarranged into nine stanzas. Each stanza has a different pattern: both number and length of lines change. As a matter of fact, some are long, some are short, some are composed of one word only and others of just three dots. Probably, the poet wanted to adopt a free verse scheme in order to show the flux of his/her thought.
A closer reading and analysis will say if this conjecture may be justified.
A denotative analysis will surely contribute to unveil the content of the text as well as the function of its component parts. Besides it may help understand why the poet organized the poem in such a specific way.
In the first stanza, the poet addresses a mysterious second person and affirms he/she entered his/her house in a very silent way, picking his way through books and files. Maybe, the house represents the poet's life, devoted to studying and reading (“libri e cartelle”), while the mysterious person is someone who entered his/her life surreptitiously. The intelligent reader focuses his attention on line three, in which the poet uses the words “facendoti spazio”, which reveal information about the person who is entering his house: he/she must be self-assured and confident, not in the least hesitant. As a matter of fact, only a person who is sure of himself would create his own space in another person’s intimacy.
In stanza two, the puzzling person turns out to be a male. In fact, he is described through the use of adjectives with a masculine ending. Furthermore, since the adjectives are introduced by the term “in apparenza”, it seems as if the man either has a double nature, or is hiding his own identity. Apparently, he is silent, shy, self-assured and parsimonious with words and objects. In addition, he hides his hands behind concentration and composedness. A possible interpretation of what this means can be found in an interpretation of body language. In accordance to its theories, hands represent emotions and reveal information about inner and subconscious feelings. If one hides his hand, in a certain sense he is willing to hide emotions and is not as transparent as he could be.
In the third stanza, some of the conjectures drawn up so far are reinforced. As a matter of fact, in the first line the poet questions who would ever dare to imagine. Probably, the mysterious person is not really as he appears. What’s more, from line three to line nine further adjectives are enlisted: sure, unbreakable, maybe palpably unsure in words, hard and determined, remote, perhaps precious. This last adjective strikes the intelligent reader's mind. >He/she may think it reveals an inner struggle in the poet. In fact, he/she seems to care about the mysterious person, even if unsure just how much. It is possible that the poet is afraid of his/her feelings, and isn’t able to control them as he/she would like to.
In stanza four, an annoying element is introduced. The poet states it appears almost by chance, and draws up the consequences it brings. To be precise, the image is turned upside down, and new shadows and outlines are revealed in an indefinite way, as if they were a puzzle which yields to the dusk. A significant choice can be seen in line six, in which the word “ri-velano” is written dividing the prefix “re” and the verb “velano” with a hyphen. Maybe, the poet wanted to focus the attention on their etymology. In accordance to the “Zingarelli” dictionary, the prefix “ri” means either repetition or returning, while the verb “velare” stands for “to hide with a veil”. As a consequence, “to reveal” could either mean “to reveal what was not known” or “to hide again”.
In the fifth stanza the poet declares there are shadows of red. In addition, he/she describes the red colour as a symptom of anger, sometimes epiphanic but always beyond fragility. An epiphany, in accordance to Joyce’s definition, is a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself.
Stanza six is composed of just one line, which has an interrogative function. As a matter of fact, the poet questions whether it would be true or not. Probably, since the puzzling person has already revealed himself as different than he appeared, the poet is in doubt of his new identity. In fact, it may not be true and be another fictitious image.
In the seventh stanza, the following elements are introduced by a definite article and listed: time, space, fire, wind and water. Definite articles are used when the noun is particular or specific. Moreover, the property of water to change form in accordance with the container is described. The poet possibly wanted to create a parallelism between water and the mysterious man.
In stanza eight, the poet affirms that while he is listening to the notes of an Irish fiddle, he hears words never said. They are at the same moment far and near. Furthermore, they are both curses and certainly eloquent. Since music is often linked to memory, the bond being in the feelings it recalls, the notes of the fiddle probably remind the poet of these very puzzling words. In this stanza, the poet uses an oxymoron: “lontane e vicine”. Probably, he/she wanted to create a feeling of confusion in the mind of the reader.
In the last stanza, the poet takes shelter in the welcoming and inclusive space of poetry. In addition, he states that only poetry can cuddle and listen. A possible interpretation of this last stanza is that the only heaven of the poet is books, not people. It seems as if men aren’t able to give love and listen.
I think this poem is written by a very sensitive person, who unveils his/her inner feelings and reflections and reveals very personal and intimate emotions in a puzzling way. It seems as if the poet has faced a very big disappointment, and is no longer able to trust human beings. He prefers his/her life, his/her house full of “books and files”, and finds tranquillity only in them. Moreover, he seems to have found his own happiness, even if it is somehow melancholic.