Poet, fiction writer and essayist, Paolo Ruffilli was born in Rieti but grew up in Forlì. He graduated in literature at the University of Bologna and for over twenty years his articles have appeared on the cultural pages of Il Resto del Carlino and other newspapers such as la Repubblica, La Stampa, il Giornale, and Il Gazzettino. In 1972 he moved to Treviso where he still lives today and works as a publishing consultant.
After being influenced by the 20th century avant-garde movement, Paolo Ruffilli’s poetry quickly took on an intense lyricism conveyed above all through short, limpid, and syncopated verses. These verses are profound in theme and suggest all that is unspeakable about human existence and our time. As Ruffilli himself says, he attempts to use “few words in order to say as much as possible”, in search of a poetry that “chooses less in order to represent more”. In this stripped-down conciseness where ellipsis and silence are necessary in order to describe either the hell of daily experience or the impossibility of a transcendent meaning, we can discover a shared contemporary consciousness. Encompassed in this is the realization that we cannot aspire to the power of the Classics, that we only have access to words too weak to convey the fullness of a reality that escapes them, that human existence is dramatically inconsistent.
Nevertheless, Ruffilli’s minimal language never loses its clear, almost eighteenth-century musicality and never descends into the obscure; he often tells a story in an attempt to recover a memory that “is not a way of looking back to recover what is definitively lost” but the narration of the past perceived to be “inside each one of us”, since “our past is what we are.” Ruffilli’s poetry thus avoids both the anguish of communicative aphasia, as well as any elegiac nostalgia for the past. It is completely animated by his curiosity “for what I have been and what others have been before me.” Memory in his poetry has a close relationship with the most profound self, and “memory is a crossing of this depth in order to have a sharper sense of what I am, of what we are.”
Preparativi per la partenza, Marsilio, Venezia, 2003 (Premio delle Donne)
Vita di Ippolito Nievo, Camunia, Milano, 1991
Vita amori e meraviglie del signor Carlo Goldoni, Camunia, Milano, 1993
K. Gibran, Il Profeta, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 1989; 10a ed. 2002
R. Tagore, Gitanjali, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 1993
La Musa Celeste: un secolo di poesia inglese da Shakespeare a Milton, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 1999.
Author’s home page
Paolo Ruffilli on Lyrikline