Siamo come scintille
Scià is 16 and has 2 million followers. She calls herself an instapoet and goes only by her nickname, Shadow.
Gregorio is 55 and has only one successful novel to his name, from 30 years ago.
So when he is asked to be the ghostwriter for a young influencer and follow her on her beach readings, he accepts. With the superiority of a man who knows he is cultured and with a deep knowledge of great literature, he believes he has nothing to learn from “little” Scià, who exists only on social media in the form of clichés. But he’s making a big mistake. A powerful friendship develops between them, which, through different generations and preconceptions, sweeps him up in a road trip – both physical and metaphorical – in which the great poets of yesteryear find expression in today’s forms of communication.
The common thread of poems helps the author focus his latest novel on the theme of poetry and succeeds in its main aim of keeping two generations united, with each capable of recording the fears of the other. Almost like an upturned mirror, each one has something to learn from the other, but they have to listen and be ready to “meet half-way”.
Poetry becomes the perfect tool: an expression of feelings, hope and, in particular, of salvation. But it does so by using the language and medium of today’s youngsters, who have just emerged from the pandemic and use Instagram and TikTok.
“We Are Like Sparks” is a title that reuses one of Scià’s verses and the novel represents an experiment by its author, who puts himself in the shoes of an instapoet and seeks to charm his readers just as Scià charms her friends and, in particular, to draw closer to a generation which seems prey to perpetual uncertainty and despair. He shows how their feelings, their fears and their loves are not so different to those that came before them.
Social media, Garlando tells us through his new writings, is not only selfies in swimwear or bristling muscles. Behind all this lies great potential for beauty: there is poetry, community and expression. And as in any field of life, you just have to look at it from the right angle.
Siamo come scintille
by Luigi Garlando