When Pavarotti Died

When Pavarotti died
No Statesman made a statement.
(They were embarrassed by their voices.)
No Officer of Meddling meddled
In another man’s affairs.

The skylarks fell from their windows.
(They had been admiring
Their own reflections.
Now they cried in unison, “He’s gone.”)

Rudolfo wept; Bellini beat his temples.
There was no war anywhere worth celebrating—
No victories, no monuments
Remotely compensating
The people for their loss.

O mio babbino caro,”
Sang a hundred forlorn women.

Somewhere in a forest
A leaf fell from a redwood,
Undulating downward
Until it folded itself in humus.

Fox eyes narrowed and glowed in moonlight.
Every feral creature bowed.

Poet-playwright-journalist-fictionist-editor-professor, Dr. Gary Corseri has published work in Dissident Voice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CommonDreams and hundreds of other publications and websites worldwide. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. Gary can be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. John Halle said on September 7th, 2007 at 6:04am #

    Beautiful work, Gary.

    Thank you.

  2. gerald spezio said on September 7th, 2007 at 8:09am #

    From one working class wop to another. I’m not a writer or a poet.
    I’m a reader. I try to read everything carefully.

    Babbino in wop means “dolt or bonehead.”
    So, “O mio babbino caro” would translate to; “O my dear dolt.”

    Those nice Italian ladies must surely know their mother tongue.

    Bambino in wop is masculine for baby or child. Now you’ve got it.
    It is still a terrific poem.

    Every wop worth his spaghetti sauce loves Luciano.

    Cheegitout, and then respond to my well intentioned criticism of your horrendous post at this site yesterday. Yes, I know Thoreau – our greatest philosopher he is not. But, “mind-forged manacles” tells us nothing. When a man of your long learning, political awareness, and cultivated intelligence makes a serious error, I pay attention.

    Bamboozle does not translate into “O sole mio.”

  3. Michael Kenny said on September 7th, 2007 at 10:38am #

    Harry Truman once said that a statesman is a dead politician. Here in Pavarotti’s native Europe, future statesmen have indeed been making statements and, as far as I can gather, he is to get more or less a state funeral in Modena with all the political cream in attendance. I don’t think Dubya has said anything, but being a dog lover, he probably prefers Beethoven and anyway, Pav-pav-whatever was said to be on very familiar terms with Don Giovanni, who, judging by his name, sounds like a Mafia boss (“the singing don”).

  4. gerald spezio said on September 7th, 2007 at 2:07pm #

    I eat crow and sparrows, too.
    I should know better that to question Puccini and Corseri.
    Babbino can mean daddy, too. And Puccini meant it so.
    Scusa me. Stupido.
    I blame Domenic Scali and his native speaking mother.

  5. Edward Campbell said on September 9th, 2007 at 3:53am #

    Vale: “Luciano”. The slightest connection. A bro-in-law of mine, is one, John Pola. An ancestor arrived from Italy (or thereabouts) in mid 19th century and began growing wines in Victoria. Pavarotti’s first music
    teacher was a Pola.