National Poetry Month Spotlight: Daniele Pantano

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2016! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections.

Today’s featured poet is Daniele Pantano, author of The Oldest Hands in the World.

The Oldest Hands in the World by Daniele PantanoLAST VISIT & SUPPER PRIOR TO THE INVASION

Finally. Dessert. He opened
The shutters and revealed
Everything that would cease
To matter the next day. Alleys
Where men were playing another
Round of chess––accents equally
On time and women parading
Like citrus trees in a market of dates.
Pubs. Songs. Palaces of worship.
No. Not even the orphanage
Or his pregnant wife’s glutted breasts
Would matter. My host insisted
I spend my time writing the important,
Not the beautiful. What else can we do?
He asked. Continue, I answered.
And excused myself. All of it.
Except my uncleared plate:
Lemon wheels and spilled milk.
DanielePantanoDaniele Pantano is a Swiss poet, translator, critic, and editor. His individual poems, essays, and reviews, as well as his translations from the German by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Georg Trakl, and Robert Walser, have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies worldwide. Pantano’s poetry has been translated into several languages, including German, Albanian, Bulgarian, Kurdish, and Farsi. Pantano lives somewhere at the end of a line. For more information, please visit