August: Writer/Poet of the Month – Lidia Chiarelli

Lidia Chiarelli is one of the Charter Members of  Immagine & Poesia, the art literary Movement founded in Torino (Italy) in 2007 with Aeronwy Thomas.

Installation artist and collagist. Coordinator of the Dylan Day in Italy.

She has become an award-winning poet since 2011 and she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from The First International Poetry Festival of Swansea (U.K.) for her broadside poetry and art contribution. Awarded with the Literary Arts Medal – New York 2020.

Six Pushcart Prize (USA) nominations. Grand Jury Prize at Sahitto International Award 2021.

In 2014 she started an inter-cultural project with Canadian writer and editor Huguette Bertrand publishing E Books of Poetry and Art online.

Her writing has been translated into 30 languages and published in more than 150 Poetry magazines, and on web-sites in many countries.

Here are some poems and an essay from Lidia Chiarelli:

My liquid world

(amid winds of war)

to Dylan Thomas

This ashen day in March
opens with dancing shadows –
images carved in the air
of the Spring still too far.
An insidious mist enshrouds me
in crescendo.

Among echoes in subtle vibration
teach me, Dylan, to take shelter in
my liquid world

teach me to feel the pulse
of the tides that ceaselessly
ebb and flow

And while time and space dissolve
in the primordial roar of the ocean

teach me to fly away, with you, from
the void … of this bewilderment  of that insanity*

* from: Although through my bewildered way

February Mist

Tribute to “I genitori perduti” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 (March 24 1919-February 22 2021)

In Washington Square
where the first light gets lost
and the seagulls are the lords of the wind
you have found your family
Bewilderment and silence in your every breath.
Your mother’s faded smile greets you
in the morning mist
and  your father turns to you
as you are listening to
your brothers’ muffled call.
Then through a blanket of vapor
all together you slide
towards the gray horizon
– extreme, borderless spaces –
towards that vacuum swirl
further and further away

Ocean Greyness
to Jackson Pollock

There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death…

Emily Dickinson

in the unreal grey
of these liquefied lines
in the vortex
of a sea of steel
where shadows stretch
darker and darker.

I listen to
the breath of
the October wind-

echoes in subtle vibrations
like a slow crescendo
like a gloomy, confused whisper.

The sky has a pearl glow.

The horizon
no longer shines through
in the distance.

(Tribute to  Ocean Greyness  painting by Jackson Pollock, 1953)

Poppy Red

I put my hands among the flames

Sylvia Plath

Of that summer
you had no memories
only red poppies
small flames
that burned your soul
a thousand poppies
open wounds
inside you.
Your journey in search of oblivion
started in the soundless  hours of the day
now lost
in the barren paths of the mind.
Then  long sunset strips
sad omens
stained the sky red
surrounding  you
in deep muffled silence

Rhapsody in Gray

to Tamara de Lempicka

… I mark
On the horizon walking like the trees
The wordy shapes of women

Dylan Thomas

Beverly Hills, California, 1939

Lightly the paintbrush slips
on the canvas caressing
elongated bodies
women behind steering wheels
 an enigma inside
 melancholy and distracted eyes.

Soaring skyscrapers
take form
in bold vertical lines.

Reflections of alabaster
a road in the night
interlocking games
and new geometries.

The modulated sounds of a saxophone
come from afar
while in the light
of street lamps
shadows descend in
long variegated spirals of
iridescent gray.


One of the most interesting aspects of today’s poetry is  Ekphrastic Poetry.

The term “ekphrastic” originates from a Greek expression for description. According to the Oxford Classic Dictionary ekphrasis is an extended and detailed literary description of any object, real or imaginary.

 In antiquity one of the earliest forms of ekphrasis can be found in “The Iliad,” when Homer provides a long account of the detailed scenes engraved on the shield of Achilles.  In Greek literature, the relationship between art and poetry was examined  by Simonides of Keos (c. 556 – 468 BC) who stated: “Η ζωγραφική είναι ποίηση που σιωπά”  “ Painting is a silent poetry.” In Latin literature, Horace (65 – 8 BC), in his “Ars Poetica” said: “Ut pictura poesis” meaning “As is painting, so is poetry.”  And Leonardo da Vinci in “A Treatise on Painting” states, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

Ekphrastic poetry flourished particularly in the Romantic era; a notable example  is “Ode on a  Greek Urn”  by John Keats. This poem is the description of a piece of pottery that the poet considers very evocative. He formulates a hypothesis about the identity of the lovers who appear to play music and dance, frozen in perpetual motion.  Other examples of the genre were common in the nineteenth century and twentieth century. Let’s remember two particularly significant:  Algernon Charles Swinburne’s poem “Before the Mirror” which ekphrasises James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s “Symphony in White, No. 2” and Claude Esteban’s prize-winning volume “Soleil dans une pièce vide,” inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper.

 But it was only in 2007 that a true literary art movement called Immagine & Poesia was founded by the poetess Aeronwy Thomas, (daughter of poet Dylan Thomas) with four other Charter Members (Gianpiero Actis, Lidia Chiarelli, Silvana Gatti e Sandrina Piras) who believed that the power of the written word and the power of visual image, when joined,  would create a new work not only greater than the parts, but altered, enhanced, changed and magnified by the union. On the stage of Alfa Theatre in Torino, Italy, the Manifesto of Immagine & Poesia was read in front of the audience on November 9th 2007, at the conclusion of the celebrations of the Dylan Thomas Festival of that year.

Within a few years Immagine & Poesia rapidly spread via the web where collaborations between artists and poets are published, as well as through international exhibitions. Today, the Immagine & Poesia’s Manifesto is translated in thirty languages and the movement includes hundreds of artists and poets from all over the world.

Since 2014, the annual e-book of Immagine & Poesia has been published  by the Canadian publisher Huguette Bertrand and the President of the Movement Lidia Chiarelli. Every year the e-book includes many ekphrastic contributions from different countries. The works of Beat Generation poet-editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the American artist Agneta Falk Hirschman are part of the latest five editions.  An on-line journal devoted entirely to writing inspired by visual art is The Ekphrastic Review, founded by Canadian artist and writer Lorette C. Luzajic.

The Movement Immagine & Poesia has particularly evolved in recent years by carrying out a message of peace, brotherhood, mutual respect and cooperation between writers and artists belonging to different countries and cultures.

 On the other hand – on a purely aesthetic level – ekphrastic poetry  has conveyed an incentive to the development of “beauty”: beautiful poems combined with beautiful images, almost adopting as a motto the words that Fyodor Dostoevsky attributes to Prince Myškin : Beauty will save the world.

Lidia Chiarelli, Italy

* Mary Gorgy:


Lidia Chiarelli

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