|photograph by Hallie Cohen|
"We lived in a house without a roof or roughcast,
a paupers’ house, in the outer suburbs, near a prison.
There was a foot of dust in the summer; in the winter, it was a swamp.
But it was Italy, naked, teeming Italy,
with its boys, its women,
its ‘odours of jasmine and poor soups’,
sunsets over the fields of the Aniene, the rubbish heaps,
and, for my part,
my honest dreams of poetry."