Aknos and Other Poems


59 pages
ISBN 1-55071-048-6
DDC C841'.54





Translated by Daniel Sloate
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta and a
poet. He is the author of Calling Texas, Earth Prime, and Mind the Gap.


Fulvio Caccia won the Governor General’s Award for this collection of
poems. The book includes an introduction by the author that provides an
overview of his work. In Aknos, Caccia explores two themes: craving for
a remembered Italian homeland, and a “love duel” with a woman. It
would have been helpful to the reader if the French originals had been
given so that the English could be checked against the French
occasionally. The English often reads like what is called
“translatorese”: jarring lines like “Fatigue recedes from my
muscles” are not idiomatic.

The poems are quite readable, even if there is in much of the work what
Octavio Paz once called “the fatal Romance tendency toward
eloquence”: a good example of this tendency is the line “The ship
slips through nubile waters.” Desire for The Other pervades all of
Caccia’s work and modulates into desire for the lost homeland. That
homeland is literally Italy (which appears in the book), but the country
also serves as a symbol for a lost state of being. Caccia now lives in
Paris; at the end of the book, Montreal is also the lost home. Aknos is
a fine introduction to an important poet.


Caccia, Fulvio., “Aknos and Other Poems,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/637.