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Elena Basile

she/her

Elena Basile is a teacher, translator, and poet whose work interrogates the spillages and constraints of translation as it moves along the queer edges of many interstitial dimensions. She teaches in the areas of translation studies, gender and sexuality, communication studies, and the health humanities at York University and at the University of Toronto. Her poetry is featured in the documentary Three Women: Adapting Lives Adopting Lines (Adriana Monti, AZ Media, 2010). She contributed to Here and Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing with a suite of poetic experiments in self-translation.  

Excerpt from Proximacies (2020) by Elena Basile
 

Per Angela 

 

Portami la morte in dono 

intaglio dritto al cuore 

 

apprenderò a farne rosa 

petalo per petalo sfogliando 

in tondo  

questa caduta 

al vuoto  

senza tregua 

 

eccitato alla delicatezza 

impassibile con cui mordi 

il filo d'ultima riga 

a offrirmi in pasto il mondo 

 

poche parole 

rosolate in gola 

nel silenzio delle dita al lavoro 

sulla tastiera 

 

Stupirà questo momento 

altrove quando di lettura  

s'affretterà l'ignoranza ardente 

d'un altro senso 

sospeso alla giuntura 

che scalcita  

dietro il verbo 

 

meta senza scampo 

 

solo fioritura 

For Angela 

Bring to me death as gift 

cut straight to the heart 

 

turn it into rose 

petal by petal leafing  

around 

this ceaseless 

fall  

of nothings 

 

excited at the cool 

tenderness with which you bite  

the thread of the last line 

and feed me to the world 

 

few words 

lightly seared in the throat 

in the silence of fingers at work 

on the keyboard 

 

In the wonder of elsewheres 

of passion  

and ignorance 

quickened toward  

a different sense 

suspended at the seam 

thickening being 

into the fray  

of verb 

and blossom 

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