Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 11 Coffee with Elio and Stella

Elio Coriano is a poet in the style of a previous age. He has ideals. He has a cause. He battles, yes, battles for humanity's future well-being. He hopes to -- well = in fact, to change the world. And he thinks, maybe, he can do it through words.

He's deadly serious about this, this Martignano resident who publishes poetry but earns his bread as a teacher.

Cigarillo in hand, steel-grey hair to just above his shoulders, he insists he'll never quit trying. If he wasn't so certain words could move the world would he have written  60,400-plus poems to date. Not all of them have been published, of course, but some have. I a one of them at my left hand: Dolorosa impotenza il mestiere delle parole, it's called. He has writteen every single one of those 64,000 poems handwritten in hardcover copy books starting from 1992.

Elio Coriano takes his words to the stage. Sometimes, he releases them to an audience accompanied by a pianist. Once, he read them to a group of 4,000 high school students in Bari, he says, while holding a lit candle.

If his words can hold in thrall even such creatures as teenagers, maybe there's hope this man will achieve his goal. 

Sometimes he turns the words over to his wife, Stella Grande, a singer. Together they turn some of the poetry into song and deliver them to yet another sort of audience.

Elio's poetry can sear the heart. The timbre of Stella's voice could melt the soul.

On stage, on paper, Elio's wants to wrest some feeling or some emotion out of the listener, out of the reader. Watch him on youtube. ( I think you don't really have to understand what he says to get his message.

Maybe Elio Coriano is right. Maybe if the minds and spirits of so many of us weren't numb, the world really might be a better place for everyone.

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