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1- 4 Performed by Luigi Pennone
Recorded February 1976 in Torino
from the LP Futura Poesia Sonora (Cramps Records, Milan)
5-6 from Italian Futurist Poetry (1913-1933), performed by Vittore Baroni
Luigi Pennone, "the highest pennon of Farfaian declamation", as Farfa himself described him in 1933, reads us some poems by this extraordinary mixture of childish candour, massive ignorance, iridescent malice and vulcanic fantasy, this "anomalous body" in the world of culture, virgin as crude and powerful as a force of nature.
This was Marinetti's introduction to the collection of ems "Noi, miliardario della fantasia" ("We millionaires of fantasy") (1933) which he himself had selected from thousands of Farfa's works, and he chose no less than two hundred and sixty-six:
Farfa National futurist. poetry record-man
The poetry circuits are arousing the lively interest of the Italian literary world. Sport is entering triumphantly into poetry, enhancing its elasticity, its heroic leaps, its tireless dynamism. We have finally emerged from the mephitic atmosphere of libraries and museums, The muscular surge and the roar of engines impose new rhythmic laws and prepare us for the great aeropoetry. We can feel its vibrations in crowd which has assembled to listen, to discuss, to applaud, to scoff, but which is already learning by heart the spiralling Iyrical glorifications of Sant'Elia, architectures flying from the mouth of Farfa, poetry record-man of Milan, Tullio d'Albisola, poetry record-man of Turin, Krimer, poetry record-man of Rome, Fortunato Bellonzi, poetry record-man of Genoa, Emilio Sasso, poetry record-man of Florence, Burrasca, poetry record-man of Trieste, Bruno Sanzin, poetry record-man of Chiavari and Vianello, poetry record-man of Verona.
In inviting me to listen to his latest lyrics, the futuriste poet Farfa said to me: You will hear all manner of incredible things"
Exactly. Farfa, cubic, full-chested, declaims like an internal combustion engine, his square face turned towards the ceiling-and his eyes closed by the force of short-sightedness.
His very short lyrics are:
1. Solar laughs of the sea.
2. Surprise poems.
3. Poems composed of enormous antitheses.
4. Radio poems with transoceanic wave-jumps to revenge himself for his shortsightedness.
5. Hallucinating with a visionary force and a futurist imagination without strings, which annul all the values of r eality. Farfa's New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Moscow are absolutely his own, invented by him and more surprising than reality.
6. Spiral and tortuous poems seeking always to extend the horizon.
7. Poems syncopated by an unrestrainable dance of other unexpressed ideas and internal intuitions.
8. Firework poems with a very high ascent, extensive rain of gold and 2 3 4 5 final bangs.
9. Journalistic poems, that is, triggered off by electrical sparks between two news items in an aerial crossroads of Stefani, Havas, New York Times.
10. Stone-throwing poems, as defined by Depero.
11. Horse Power collars with bells and child calorie toys.
Insatiably Farfa drinks up the thunderous applause that greets his lyric to Sant'Elia in the Poetry Circuit of the Ganeria Pesaro in Milan. The Futurist Farfa by myself crowned with an aluminium helmet in the cockpit of a small Caproni at a height of 1,000 meters in the sky
But his engine has incalculable reserves. His Journalistic passion is powerful enough to raise the contraption with the engine off, cause a bloody brawl in the cockpit between the pilot and mechanic, and precipitate ever everything into the sea, just so long as Farfa can radiotelegraph the flying news:
"First of them all. Farfa national poetry recordman".
Farfa's poetry is founded on alliteration and this is its phonic dimension, rather than onomatopoeia which, unlike the other futurist authors, he disregards, just as he prefers free verse to free- word experiment. The text is corded with assonances, consonances, homonyms. Often descending to the level of mere punning, sometimes, however, they create purely, euphonic orchestrations. The words, often distorted, melt and dissolve into a single sonic mixture. This is the case of ' Tuberie", ("Piping"), included in the above-mentioned volume published in 1933, and of "Veni vidi viti" which in 1937 won the Siena national competition for a "Bacchic amorous and martial" poem, as well as of "Affaraffari" (1947). They are rather long texts. But Farfa -- Marinetti had said "our acts may be instants" - referred the "Sincopatie", a sort of "tanke" which in fact found favour in Japan where some were translated and included in school text-books.
Farfa (Vittorio Osvaldo Tommasini) was born at Trieste in 1879. Of robust Ehysique and enviable good health, at eighty he was as he had been at fifty: a cubic wardrobe of energy. Very short-sighted from childhood, he saw men and things in a halo of mist. His encounter with Futurism took place at Trieste on the occasion of the futurist evening on January 12th 1910. He met Marinetti for the first time in Turin, to where he had moved with his mother, in 1919. In the same year he founded the Turin Futurist Group with Fillia, Diulgheroff, Pozzo, Mino Rosso and Oriani. He worked for Fiat as a mechanic but an accident dissuaded him from continuing, as well as inspiring the poem "Tenerezze Fresatorie" ("Milling tendernesses"). He tried painting, sculpture, graphics, above all collage, in works that he called "cartopitture". In 1929 he settled at Savona, where he made friends with Tullio d'Albisola. He died in 1964 at Sanremo following a car accident. In 1970 his friend Luigi Permone edited the collection of his lyrics in a volume titled "Farfa, poeta record nazionale futurista" (Sabatelli, Savona).
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