The philosopher Martin Heidegger wondered what the meaning of poetry could be in a world which seemed, and still seems today, to give little value to it – “a world full of noise, stunned by the lights of images, intoxicated by speed”. So, why poetry? What is its place today, in the era of the Internet, global information and mass communication? Why do we still write and read poetry today? Is it just the heritage from our past or, perhaps, as Mario Luzi suggests, poetry “can celebrate something very similar to life”? Poetry has never been the navel of the world, nor a widely-used language, and certainly has never changed history; in the past, however, as well as today, poetry collects, preserves, testifies the ticking of human time, “the warm, fugitive wave of the heart ”, as Rainer Maria Rilke writes in its Duino Elegies. Poetry is a sweet cure for “the hell of the living” – something that, more or less, we all experience and live every day.
On the occasion of the 60th edition of the LericiPea Prize, I would also like to express my special thanks to Poetry itself – not only the one we read on books, but also the one that surrounds us every day; a special thanks also to those who are lucky, talented and bold enough to be poets.
Finally, I want to express my special thanks to the members of the LericiPea Association for electing me President this year – a memorable year in which, once again, our Prize defends the importance of Poetry. Poetry is a place of plurality, diversity, and equality among all the races, as well as human and animal species; but Poetry is also a human, civil and political commitment. Our aim, and my wish, is to continue to protect it, make it last, and give it the attention it deserves.
LUCILLA DEL SANTO
President Pro tempore of LericiPea Poetry Prize – 2014 edition