The Heart’s Cliff

“The Heart’s Cliff” is a book of poems, those of my father, to whom, however, time was not granted to finalize the work. The book contains my memories and those of my family, and beyond being a tribute perhaps owed, for me, it represents the first step taken in the direction of “immortality of thought“.

My memories

I don’t have many memories of my parents’ lives, I mean the life away from pain and illnesses, and even though they died when I was already in my twenties, many images in my mind have faded, and the sounds of their voices have almost disappeared. But I strongly remember their unity, their love for each other, the sense of respect they left us as a legacy, which today makes the relationship between us siblings special. My mother was a beacon for us children and today a guiding spirit, and for my father, she was the pillar of his life. A strong and gentle woman, brave and sincere, who faced the terrible trials of her long suffering with dignity and silence. Therefore, I don’t think there’s a better way to know my mother than through my father’s loving eyes, who often depicted and told about her.

My father was a silent man with a stern appearance, but with a noble soul; a man marked by deep pain and a terrible disease, which accompanied him throughout his life. I want to remember him amidst his colors and papers. I want to remember him for what he was, a profound person, sometimes demanding, strict by role, but friendly by nature, perhaps an eclectic, in his own way a creative genius. I want to remember him in his most intimate thoughts, his most solitary side, accompanied by his ghosts and his deepest fears, those of a man who knew of his short journey but did everything to enrich it with emotions, thoughts, colors, words, and images.

I want to remember him, sitting in the kitchen, with his usual cigarette between his fingers, accompanied by a pen and a diary, when occasionally, as a boy, he would ask me to sit next to him to test his prose; he would have me read his poems, probably hoping I would grasp the depth of his thoughts, perhaps it was a way to speak to me, a different way to open a dialogue or strengthen a father-son relationship, or to tell his story. However, when, after reading, I declared that I hadn’t understood much, he would smile and whisper: “that’s okay, then it’s okay like this.”

At the time, I didn’t understand why he made a thought so cryptic, but today I believe it was his way to guard and protect his deepest feelings, but at the same time, to leave them free to all those who would have tried to understand the true meaning hidden beyond the individual words.

Domenico Soriano