The Italian Martina Pocchiari (22) is a master student of Marketing Manager at RSM. She is specializing in marketing analytics and digital marketing, when she is not busy writing her thesis she writes poems and short stories. In March she was appointed Campus Poet becoming the first ever international student to cover the role.

How did you become a campus poet?

“It was very random. First you were asked to submit some poems. That was in January. In March, they told me I was the new campus poet. I must say that my appointment was very silent, in the sense there was no coverage of it. I didn’t even know I was the campus poet until I had to perform.”

You have been appointed very recently..

“Yes, it is very recent. I am planning to continue at least until I graduate, or until I am here. There are a lot of upcoming and exciting events, like Studio Erasmus, that I am planning to participate to where I will be performing my poems. Still adjusting to performing my writings in front of an audience.”

You are the first international poet, how does that make you feel?

“Well, first I didn’t know. That is so cool. Now that I know it its makes it even more special. I wonder why I am the first international campus poet though. I am glad I started the tradition, I hope there will be many more. It is a pity that not many people know about it, there is so much potential, if only people knew there was an association that cover these topics, I am sure much more students would join.”

For how long have you been writing for?

“I think for about seven years, I believe I started in 2009. There were some moments when I would write less than others obviously, I had some ups and downs, but overall I would still say seven years.”

How did this passion of yours arise?

“I wouldn’t say it arose, I think it has always been there. At some point I felt the urgency to express some thoughts that I could not share with other people, I found it easier to write them down instead of expressing them to someone. I felt a sense of relief when I transcribed my thoughts to paper. Later, writing became a way to relax, I really felt and still feel more comfortable in my skin once I poured my thoughts onto the page. I discovered I really love writing, hence I started experimenting with various forms of literary expressions. I started with short stories and some personal reflections moving on to novels and long stories and finally poetry. “

Campus poet 3

So, are you saying that poetry was the last step of your writing transformation?

“Yes, yes, poetry came later. I think this is because writing poetry is something that requires more preparation, in terms of literary background, skills and knowledge. I don’t think it is something that you can do immediately, I am talking for myself at least. My poetry wasn’t something that came naturally when I started writing it, I did require some sort of preparation.”

Is there an author or a book in particular that inspires you?

“At the moment I am really into Edgar Lee Masters, in particular the Anthology of Spoon River. I feel that my current production is very much influenced by his work. Secondly, I would say Edgar Allan Poe. I feel particularly influenced by all of his poems, I have a booklet which contains a compilation of all of his poetic production. Nevertheless, my favorite author is Italian, his name is Vittorio Alfieri. He is an author from the 17th century who wrote many and beautiful poems. I find his work impressive, I love the themes he treated in his poems, he mainly focused on reinterpreting Greek tragedies into poetic forms. His autobiographies too are a big part of my cultural background. His personality really influences me.”

How does it feel to write personal poems in another language?

“After being abroad for quite a long time, forced to speak English, I started thinking in the language and writing in English came as a consequence. It became natural. In the beginning it wasn’t easy though, I found that writing in English was forcing my creativity and the way I expressed myself. It has been a long transition, but now I feel comfortable in writing in another language. Although, my vocabulary range is much more restricted, this can be a limitation as well as an incentive to improve yourself and your vocabulary. It’s exciting.”

Which one of your poems has the most significance to you?

“That is a tough question. I like them all, I think they all carry a lot of meaning for me. As time goes by, some acquire more significance than others that I find more superficial. Right now I couldn’t be able to point out one.”

How is the writing process?

“I get inspired by personal experiences. Things that touch me particularly, whether it occurs to me or to someone else or in the world in general. Usually, it is something that hits me directly. I think it is quite logical, when something touches you first hand it triggers the biggest reaction. Other times, more impactful events, such as the Paris attacks, catch my attention and trigger a deeper reaction.  In that case, I felt the need of expressing my emotions and my thoughts on the matter. Once again it made me feel much better afterwards, it was therapeutic.”

Finally, what is poetry for you?

“That’s really difficult. I don’t want to sound trivial, but poetry is everywhere and anywhere. I mean poetry is everywhere you look. For me is just about discovering it, finding it wherever it lays and trying to bring it to life. I know it sounds trivial, but it’s true. You just have to go beyond the surface of things, scratch the surface and be curious about it.”

Four times December

(Martina Pocchiari)
’T was colder, a fiercer wind was blowing
—and in the wind, I gave away my heart.
has changed, ever since.
Today, the wind is gentler;
the cold, welcoming.
But my heart is frozen
and amid a storm.
How many things can happen,
in a gust of wind.
How many things can change,
without us noticing.
I lost my heart in the wind, and now
I don’t know where it has set down.
But I will continuously walk through the roads of the world
to find it again.