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Selected Poetry

Jack Croughwell

Writer’s Statement

The first poem, “Ricordo i libri,” began with a visit home from school over the summer. I saw the old bookcase that had held the small library I had when I was just starting to get into literature. It no longer held the small selection that I had collected in high school, it was just cluttered with what was left over from the past. All those books came with me to my apartment in college and overflowed onto three different bookcases. I used to be able to pick up any book off the shelf and remember how it got there. Can’t quite do that anymore.

It’s hard to say how “Pensieri zafferani” came to be seeing how it was originally written in spring. I just really like autumn and saffron. “Domanda per mamma” is a picture of my mother and me and our willingness to entertain a joke in seriousness. The poem’s only two seconds of the conversation which later branched into a conversation about amateur ethnography and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The story of “La morta di un’amica di un’amica” isn’t really mine to tell. The origin of “L’ho comprato usato,” however, is easier to share. In the earlier half of college, I’d read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society after buying it off Amazon used. I finished it in a day because I found it remarkably delightful. The previous owner of my copy must have loved mixing morning drinks with reading as the cover is lightly spotted with the marks of glasses, as if the novel was some glorified coaster. I had fun reading it though. It ended up being a single-stanza poem because I liked the ephemeral nature of a memory and how one can just whiz by and leave you alone with nostalgia.


“Azafrán” by Manuel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Azafrán” by Manuel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ricordo i libri

Erano miei libri
Si, riposti sulle due mensole.
Ognuno ha avuto una storia
Per me
Ma non è scritta.

Adesso i miei libri
Abitano su tre librerie.
Le loro storie si mescolano
Insieme e diventano
Un racconto amorfo
Che io non posso leggere.

Pensieri zafferani

L'anima mia
sta facendo la spia
tra le braccia di settembre
dove la luce zafferana brilla sempre
e rivela un passero
sospeso in qualche ramo
gettando ombre il vento spazzerò,
intrappolato nella stagione che amo.

“Litfest's Poetry Bookcase” by Lancaster Litfest is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Litfest's Poetry Bookcase” by Lancaster Litfest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Domanda per mamma

In estate, cammino con mia mamma
E il cane.
Durante la cena noi ci parliamo
E rompiamo pane.
Ho chiesto, <Mamma, una domanda veloce:
Dormiresti con Gesù Cristo?
Sto chiedendo per un amico>
E lei ha riso e risposto,

La morta di un’amica di un’amica

Un incidente d’auto
Nelle periferie della mia vita
non conoscevo la morte.

Non conoscevo quella ragazza, la sua vita, la sua faccia, la sua felicità.
Ma conosco la mia amica,
E lei ha bisogno di aiuto.

L’ho comprato usato

L’ho comprato usato
Con le macchie sulla copertina.
La storia passava velocemente
E la memoria è sopraffina.

Jack Emby Croughwell studies creative writing, theater arts, and Italian. When not working in a theatre somewhere he can be found near a stack of novels and a pile of empty soda cans.