Valentina Colonna


Valentina Colonna is an Italian poetess and piano composer. She was born in Turin in a family of musicians. She published poetry books Dimenticato suono (Manni, 2010) and La cadenza sospesa (Aragno, 2015). She stood out in several poetry competitions and she was presented as an emerging poet by Davide Rondoni. Since 2016 she has been promoted by Versopolis – where poetry lives. In 2017 her poetry debuted abroad in Austria, Germany and Spain: her poems were published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Also, Centro Cultural Tina Modotti of Caracas is interested in her poetry and her poems are translated also to Polish and English.
Her lyrics appeared on several reviews, magazines, music scores, CDs, anthologies and literary sites. She has been reviewed by several national newspapers.
She graduated with honors in Ancient Literature from the University of Turin, where she gained a master’s degree in Linguistics with honors and was recommended for publication in 2017. She is working on her Ph.D. in Digital Humanities (Linguistics) at the University of Genoa and University of Turin. She is dedicated to phonetics and her research project is focused on the prosody of Italian poetry. After gaining her Master’s degree in Piano in 2011 with Luciana Bigazzi and specialization with Ramin Bahrami and Paul Badura-Skoda, Valentina focused on the Baroque repertoire: she studied Harpsichord with Béatrice Martin and Luca Guglielmi at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) of Barcelona (Spain), where she earned her Master’s Degree in interpretation of the ancient music. Now she is devoted to piano composition and she performs her new concert projects with her piano music and poetry. She also worked with Vatican Radio.

The poetry of Valentina Colonna is a flower of music and solitude.

The profound nature of her voice rises in two experiences: one is the music of which she is an interpreter and a scholar, the other is radical existential loneliness.

In this experience poetry happens almost like a countermelody, like a complementary sign to the two powers that live in her. In her voice, as a matter of fact, the word is compared to music, but not only because in the pages of her books there is material that derives from that vocabulary and that art, but because she almost challenges it. It is as if the music was to recognize its defect, the absence of the word that the musician-poetess cannot suffer. And which she therefore repairs, in a dream of total art or of life like art, through the poetic exercise. This is not a revolt against music. It is significant though that a poetess developing in a musical culture - drunk with maternal milk and paternal example – does not carry the idea that poetry should be reduced to musicality. No, in her you will find a living lexicon, a careful composition, a substance of words never only musical or rhythmical, rather a certain intellectual tension, a stubborn logic-syntactic texture even in the moments of acute visionary. A poem fed by music but not at all abandoned to the seduction of musicality.

And the existential loneliness - a feature that recurs many times in the book - is at the same time pronounced and opposed to a poetic vivacity, opened to the surprises of the meetings. Encounters with things, with certain appearances seen sideways, with loved figures, returns. Meetings that seduce, injure, awake.

I think Valentina Colonna is a lover of the "possibility". The rest of her beloved Baroque repertoire (she is specialized in that music for harpsichord and piano) is a proof between yearning and virtuosity of "chance" as a fundamental category of existence. The creation of another time in time, the continuous opening of dizzy rhythmical gaps in the normal warp, in the time required, are key features of these poems. And they should be read as a deep diary, inhabited by these continuous "movements", rather than by a desire for expression of intimate experiences. It is far from the grey tones of much of the so-called young Italian poetry. Her looks may appear at times almost childish, happy, but it is a strange happiness, an oblique childhood.

With a verse that seems swinging between inflections of Rebora and amusements of Palazzeschi, the poetess fixes impalpable moments, diverts the look from usual moments and situations, attracted by the signs of a rhetoric “other” compared to that of the probable. It is, as said, the grammar of the possible that pricks her eyes and heart. And even if this look never finds passages that cross the hic et nunc of a vision in which the transcendence does not exist - and it rather is at the most an amazement - it is not missing the spice of a gratuitousness enjoyed like an intense cheerfulness, and little miracles happen, as also the skeptical Montale called them. In a book in which clouds and steps often recur, always moving backgrounds in a journey in which the pursuit of joy is fixed, there are presences, views of cities or hills or far seas, in which the poetess perceives something that ceaselessly calls her.

Davide Rondoni (trad. di Giulia Sorrenti)