Cultural equilibriums and linguistic dislocations: the poetry of Paolo Totaro
The writing of poetry is an activity carried out by a very small number of the 350,000 Italians who migrated to Australia in the period following the Second World War. From 1947 to the present some thirty-eight first-generation migrants have published eighty-seven volumes of poetry -mostly in Italian with a few bilingual volumes and some exclusively in English -while a few hundred writers have had their work published in edited anthologies such as Abiuso et al. (1979), Rando (1983 and 1986), Cincotta (1989), Genovesi (1991), Polizzi (1994 and 1995), ALIAS (1997), as well as in the Sydney Italian language newspaper La Fiamma.' Frequently expressed themes include the subjective expression of a personal, emotive response to life and its meaning, to love, to nature, to interpersonal relationships, etc. Nonetheless by far the most distinctively characteristic recurring theme is that of Australia and its interrelationship with and effect on the migrant, the newcomer who has to make sense of a new world and the cultural and linguistic dislocations of this experience.