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poems of the kameleon

Poesie in ..Italiano .



Note on the author.

When I think of the word chameleon, I could not imagine a human being, which could fit the description better than Sarah. She has as many personas as the languages she speaks (six) and the international sim cards in her wallet (four).

Not only is she a Gemini, but also carries three different bloods in her.

Sarah Capogrossi was born in Brussels, on the 08 th of June 1973.

Her mother was born in London, of a Russian mother and Polish father.She gives Sarah her 'Britishness'and sense black humour. Her father is an Italian artist born in the golden hills of the Marche.

After a classic European baccalaureate, she moved to Brighton and attended Sussex University (1992).

She played football with an African football team called Cape to Cairo and met Enrico Vecchi, that will later become a film director in Italy. The two of them conceived and created SCRIBES, a multicultural magazine.

She spent her Erasmus year (1994) on the Island of La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. This is when I met her, and have been following her steps ever since.

There, she was a journalist for the newspaper Témoignages. She developed a passion for kréol culture and poetry, and analysed the impact that slavery had on the social patterns and identity of the réunionnais.

Her several missions in the jungle resulted in the writing of organic poems. With the help of local musicians and friends she understood that percussion and magic were strictly linked to the kréol way of feeling. Drumming reflected the ancient pain of slavery as much as it celebrated the new found freedom of the locals ( in 1848).

The island is called La Réunion for the inhabitants are all mixed blooded. Africans, Hindus, Chinese, Arabs and Europeans mix as one. Fellini himself often seeked actors in the Indian Ocean for their peculiar morphology.

This cultural métissage made Sarah more aware of her own post-modern métis identity.

The chameleon had always been the animal she used to represent herself, as she suspected that she belonged everywhere and nowhere. No one could ever be considered a stranger or an outsider on the island of La Réunion, so she melted in the island's cultural pot very well.

Her trip to Madagascar was to change her life and re-direct her writing focusing on humanitarian aid and the emancipation of what is called the developing world.She met Don Pedro in Antananarivo, and spent three days interviewing a prostitute in the harbour city of Tamatave.It meant she had to be courageous and face many dangers, including death.

She came back to England transformed, in soul and body.

After graduating in Brighton in 1996 (her profile is far more auto-didactic than academic) she moved back to La Réunion, and then to Paris (1997).

She met the RAI correspondent Paolo Frajese in Paris and following his advice, she worked for the New York Times office in Opéra as an intern, and got familiar with the international artistic world and theatre arena; she worked with some of the worlds best pens, and matured.

She also met one of her heroes in Paris, the journalist and singer Jacques Bertin *. During one of their meetings, he qualified her writing as "prose bulldozer", inciting her to focus on the prose rather than the poetry.

An awkward encounter with a shaman called Hors Humain* was also to change her perception of the role of an author. He shared her apocalyptic vision of the world, and was to be her professor for the years to come.

Amongst other things Sarah participated in the anti M.A.I. (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) groupment, encouraged Tobins' tax movement in Paris, and translated freelance for ATTAC* in late 1998 and early 1999.

Sarah came back to Brussels in 1999 and organised a vidéothèque of hundreds of censored tapes relating to humanitarian crisis. Here came the first moment of deep disillusion for her. A deep crack in her soul took her loud laughter away, as she began an introspective scission between herself and the global hegemony of geo politics.

She lost faith in her battle for a while.

She fled to the island of Mykonos, in the Greek Cycladic isles, in order to try to finish her book during the wintertime, and to recollect her thoughts.

She ended up staying for two years, and learnt to love and respect the Hellenic land that she had been visiting with her family for over 20 years, even more.

Since 9/11 she came back to Brussels and has started writing again.

Sarah is someone which you can attend the Opera in Paris with, drink an ouzo whilst talking about mythology with the fishermen on a small Greek harbour, or dance barefoot in the middle of the jungle.

I believe, as many of her friends, that she is very gifted with words.Her spiritual quest is forever hanging between mysticism and realism.

The borderline traits of her personality mean that she can visit through words the deepest disenchantment and pain, as well as shine through highly inspired,clairvoyant energy. She is a constantly changing patchwork of experiences, music, cultures and faiths.

A kaleidoscope of emotions will emerge from the reading of her prose.

She is a strong lady that can kill with a word, and a loyal friend whom would cross the world if help is needed. She is a cosmopolitan enfant terrible and at the same time a wise witness of modern-day times.

She is now based in Crete, Greece, and is reachable through the e-mail link on the bottom of her home page.


 Gérard Berkowitz,

Paris, June 2006.


* see links on Home page