The secret rain
Murmuring clouds, waves of a haughty sky,
Secret rain, like a veil, Babylon spreads
The words dance, prostrate themselves to the mystery,
Like a secret code that no one understands.
Drops of arcane wisdom, caducous with slowness,
In the furrows of the idiom the clear understanding changes.
Liquid Babylon, the enemy’s warp breaks,
and the rain washes away the ancient phrasebook.
In the damp streets, the known understanding dissolves,
The secret rain weaves a new warp,
The language is mute, the enigma remote,
Babylon paints the sanctioned mystery.
Tragic edicts of gloomy empire lie,
grave of a future of fierce hunting.
Tacit assent to decline into oblivion,
to spectres of this faceless age.
Twilight unravelling destiny in furrows,
tireless rain carves the road.
Babylon writhes in its agony,
severing the bitter terms with the edge of the sword
In the inebriated murmuring vociferates,
the resonance of the ablated recitative.
The crowd, of the spoken phrases, notices,
Babylon afflicts every desiring light.
Amidst the frustrated codes of prescribed civilisation,
one witnesses the birth beyond the desert,
Of the rising to new faith, invincible,
of wisdom and a certain future.
(From the poem ‘Babylon’ by Persius II. Aquileia, 1911).
The poet’s life
The poet saw the light of day in Aquileia, in the province of Udine, in 1881, born into a family already marked by chance and marginalised in places that, not long before, had known glories, although not of noble origins. Belonging to the destined order, the poet answered to the name of Ananke, as attested by the prodromal form unalterable necessity and fate, transmitted by a biography that preceded his codes.
When he was four years old, he moved to Rome, consciously assuming the role of spectator in the great city, where he was openly exposed to the vanity of human desires, to their incessant search for illusory objects, often unattainable due to impotence, human error or the time that consumes everything. This experience, which represented the only possible cure for the fury of his soul torn between foreign states, not only shaped his future Stoic education, but offered him the opportunity to come into contact with eminent intellectuals, such as his famous ancestor. Initially raising doubts, he hesitated about those who imputed to him a distorted sense, plunging him into paramnesia and multiple identities, the cause of his admission to the ASX sanatorium in the autumn of 1924, before his final departure from Rome.
The poet, sensitive in nature, righteous and biting, pursued vain goals, showing a deep interest in the fundamental folly of men. The combination of the high sense of the tragic with irony and caricature represented the primary loss for him. In this vein, through the description of a troubled hotel and the vision of herbs ready to feed the peoples of the world, he embarked on a path of self-satisfaction, revealing an awareness of his constitutive misery. His naivety, symbolised by the gesture of taking his face in his hands with his feet askew, reflected wandering wits and thoughts.
After the period of correction, the poet devoted himself completely to his studies in his library of more than seven hundred and seventy-seven volumes. His death occurred in 1932, at a villa in Aquileia. His demise was the subject of different interpretations: some attributed the death to a severe melancholic degradation, while others considered it a metaphor, highlighting the senselessness of the search for some basis in destiny. The theme of death was also linked to several figures who paid tribute to the poet’s demise in later versions.
Persius described his style in a metaphorical and surgical manner, stating that the poet must risk viaticum with sharpness and incision to correct sick and corrupt customs, using satire and ethical dogma as a tool. Persius II’s work, centred on the ‘LinguaViva’, was also described as ordinary and rough by its detractors, as it avoided stylistic surprises, but generated an almost ugly sonority through the use of acerbic juxtapositions and amnestic paradoxes.