In The Nature Of Spring Thoughts

Make me ready

Three “sono-poems” by Italian poet and sound recordist Ilaria Boffa


They leave by detachment
one by one and in clusters, layering. 
A seeming fragility.
Pollen grains and their microspores 
are one of the most resistant substances 
in the plant world.
Under anoxic conditions, they linger 
in ponds and fens for thousands 
to millions of years.
They mirror the past in the future. 
A story of earlier vegetation 
and climate status. 

Pollens waft through me.  
They intersect my white 
the mesmerising orange-blue flight 
of the kingfisher and the bee-eater 
on the Bacchiglione. 
Absence wafts through us. 
Our persistent morphology 
gradually degraded. 
Walls and apertures 
to indicate our structure.
Lie down on the ground 
with me like a layer. 

The woolly soil teasels 
the substratum and the soles. 
Moisture wets palms 
holding the leash.
It’s so windy lately.
Make Me Ready

Make me ready 
for the arrival of the rain
which is expected heavy 
but needed.

Show me 
what I can get rid of
pruning shrubs 
along the fluvial corridor.

And if we must leave 
the fourth industrial revolution behind
this augmented social reality 
to repair our notion of mortality

help me not to falter.
We may remain one day
one last day.
Red Giants

What if this is the time 
the non-negotiable self, the sacred.
The line we already crossed.

Nothing is more real than the wind 
in the winter when it cracks the skin and
clenches the throat, when it forces 
each frequency. On the riverbank, it lashes 
the floodplains and then it pauses.

You told me about these years
the fatigue, and I do nothing
but ponder over our presence.

Where were we? What are we 
bringing along? History is
a tale within a tale 
a series of omissions, hypotheses
and mitigations. 

And we may desecrate remembrance
and contaminate our becoming
but the urge to outlast the death
of the sun slams us. 

Entrenched in the anxiety to get lost 
evolving away from the main sequence 
like red giants.  

A few decades down the line
we will meet, I will sit down 
across from you and 
I’ll ask once more
do you know my name? 

Ilaria Boffa: How I write

My artistic work is mainly based on observation, research, experimentation and language “contamination”.

For me, observing subjects and objects, living and non-living beings, means to pay attention, listen, care, and look with an open mind, compassion, tolerance and curiosity. This entails asking questions and raising doubts about the Anthropocene era.

I write in Italian and English. My sono-poetry combines poetry and field recordings of natural and human-produced sounds that I take with a zoom H6 recorder during trips around the world, or in the Euganean Hills in Italy where I live.

pic taken in the Euganean Hills (Italy), 2020, by Ilaria Boffa

Ilaria Boffa is an Italian poet and sound recordist. She writes bilingual poetry and has published three poetry collections to date. She is one of eight authors included in NeMLA Writing in a Different Language Vol XL 2018. Her sono-poems, which combine poetry and field recording, have been broadcast on Radiophrenia Glasgow radio art festival and Clyde Built Radio Glasgow. Three of her collaborative audio-video installations have been exhibited at Mahalla Festival Murmuration 2021 in Turkey, Nature&Culture Poetry Film Festival 2021 in Sweden, !Flick! International Film Festival 2023 in the US and MK Architektur Exhibition 2023 in Germany.

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Header image

All images, text and recording copyright © Ilaria Boffa, 2023. Images taken taken in the Euganean Hills (Italy) by Ilaria Boffa.