Andrea Raos, who was born in Varese in 1968, is one of the most important scholars and translators of Japanese literature in Italy. He currently lives in Paris.
It is difficult not to think about Raos’ profession while reading the cycle of short poems ‘Water Carol’ presented here. As the author himself says, these verses are the product of some coffee-breaks he allowed himself while working in a research institute in Tokyo. Sitting at the edge of a little pond, Raos hears the little wriggles of the carps but he never manages to turn around in time to see them. Or he observes the sudden crowding of birds in a hollow. As in a lot of eastern art and poetry, emotion lies in the things unsaid, in the absence, in the succession of revelations and disappearances, in the game between visible and invisible. And above all in the sense of death and loss which permeates every presence.
In this way, every being, every thing, every memory, in its unavoidable and accidental interdependence, in its illusory closeness, reveals itself in all its strength and irreducible alterity. Things appear unexpectedly before us and then they leave us, like an abrupt turning around or the sudden wriggles of a carp in a little lake.
Raos’ writing is striking because of the evident technical skill and the clear contrast between the urgency, the anxiety of the soul’s impulses and the sharpness of the style in which they find their expression. Raos possesses an essential and never easy lyricism that shows its most important and precious mark in the always complex construction of the image.
Also on this site
The Restlessness of the Vision
Essay by Andrea Inglese.
Discendere il fiume calmo. In Franco Buffoni (ed.), Poesia italiana. Quinto quaderno italiano, Milano, Crocetti, 1996.
Aspettami, dice. Poesie 1992-2002. Rome, Pieraldo, 2003.
Luna velata . Marseille, cipM – Les Comptoirs de la Nouvelle B.S., 2003.
Lettere nere. Un’autografia. 1991-1996, unpublished.
In addition to these collections of poetry, Andrea Raos appears in the anthologies Ákusma. Forme della poesia contemporanea (Fossombrone, Metauro, 2000) and Azioni poetiche. Nouveaux poètes italiens , in Action poétique , 177, September 2004.
As a translator he edited the anthology Chijô no utagoe – Il coro temporaneo , Tokyo, Shichôsha, 2001, that won him the Special Prize for Translation of the Italian Ministero dei Beni Culturali (Ministry of Cultural Affairs) in 2002.
Novelists’ and poets’ blog.