Gino, Your new anthology contains all the topics that have occupied you since you began your writing work in the 1970s. What topics do you cover with this volume of poetry?
As you said, in the 1970s I was already interested in the topic of emigration and, as the opposite side of the coin, immigration, out of biographical interest. Because both represent their own step that needs to be mastered confidently in life. For this reason, love for my homeland is taken into account, as is respect for German society, in which I have lived for more than 50 years.
Love, nature and interpersonal interaction are also taken into account as lyrical topoi?
Of course, with a series of poems I address the topic of love, love for my mother who died of Covid as an autobiographical reflection as well as love for the female being in general. Finding your way around foreign cultures also has implications for the coexistence between men and women, but also between work colleagues, neighbors and, I also discuss this, for the coexistence of nature and people.
With “Europe that once was” and “Bloodbath in Hanau” you have created two poems with which in 2020 you are issuing a warning to politicians and citizens at the same time in a very timely way.
Exactly, my lyrical compositions are reflection and warning at the same time. The kisses that politicians give each other in Brussels become a symbol of the futility with which politics is often pursued today. At the same time, I address the warning to the always critical and disgruntled citizen, with the hope that people, instead of taking a negative path, take responsibility for themselves, their fellow human beings and the environment.
How is this appeal expressed, for example, in your poems about the environmental crisis?
In 2020, during my creative break, which I spent in Italy between the two lockdowns, I had the great privilege of hiking Monte Corona on the Italian-Austrian border with a local hiking guide. The name of the mountain was of course the inspiration for my poem “2020 Above Normal Zero”, in which I deal with the splendor of nature, which tries to escape the bad influence of humans in such a remote place.
What do you think is the solution to the environmental problem?
People must act in solidarity, solidarity in political alliances such as the EU, solidarity in communities but also solidarity in dealing with themselves.
What do you mean by that?
In my poem “The Feline Man” I give the answer to this.
Thank you, Gino, for the interview. You have made us as readers curious. Every reader will certainly find plenty of starting points for reflection in your poems.
The interview was conducted by the publisher, Christian Leeck. Machine translated from German.
Monheim, September 2022