Thousands of useless thoughts
chasing a future that was not,
unbecoming, uneducated,
ready to bow
in the presence of their King
that, slimy
unclean snake,
devours them.Day and time of His birth I know.Hated comrade,
to be suppressed with each weapon,
and if this is me,
now, off and
led to the paradox,
I will win the King
at the death of my thoughts.

Pietro Di Martino

Critical reading

Thoughts are the framework of this poem, forming, together with the figure of the King, a concentric structure whose center is self-awareness, a self identified through the date of birth.

These thoughts are useless and must die, so that the author can proclaim his victory against the King, this alter ego to be suppressed. It seems the mission to kill God, which Nietzsche assumed had been completed, but in reality to be completely redone because in the beyond-man he had found the substitute: once God has been killed, now we have to kill the substitute; it seems that then the mission was completed by Heidegger – Di Martino.

The poem does not offer the recipe for killing this new God, the King; on the contrary, there remains the impression of having to kill continuously, similar to the woman who must continually crush the head of the snake; and here the King is really a snake.

If thoughts must die, together with their King, it is precisely this poem that must die, that must be forgotten. But what has to be forgotten is not the poem itself, but its words, so that the unsaid, the ineffable, finally wins. In short, the poet finds the ineffable within himself, he wants to express it, but he realizes that the words with which he is expressing it betray it, indeed, more than the words, the thoughts themselves, so these thoughts must first be expressed in words and then killed: simple silence would not have been enough.

The conflictual feature of the modulation says that the silence of the word cannot occur peacefully: in the midst of it it is not possible to avoid hatred for that very word which was its vehicle.

In this sense, the death of thoughts is not so much the death of the poet or of man in general, but the death of memory: the King will finally be killed when the reader, having finished listening to the poem, will return to his business, will forget it, then the thoughts will be dead, and it is then that finally the poem will begin its true life in the reader, it will act in him no longer hampered by the memory of words. In short, in the same way that one reads so many books not to remember them, but so that they mold our soul, after being forgotten. Thus we can explain the meaning of the thoughts that pursue the future that was not: thoughts undermine the reader, after he has read the poetry, undermine what is about to be realized in the reader, that is, the future without memory, the remaining finally shaped by the poem when the words will be no longer remembered.

Obviously this is not an anti-memory poem, but it reminds us that we need to make memory of our being molded, not of the memorized words. “Do this in memory of me” does not mean “Repeat these words in the future by heart”, but “Be aware of the fact that I am shaping you”. At this point the scholastic practice of learning poems by heart comes to be extremely bizarre and deadly: it means becoming complicit of thoughts to prevent the birth of the future that was not.

(Next notes about the style would be impossible to understand without referring to the original italian version of the poem)