Since he was a young poet, Antonio Porta has always shown a strong interest in visual arts, in particular for abstract and conceptual painting. Porta began to experiment with collage in 1959, attending some key exhibitions at the Galleria Blu (Milan) and at the Galleria Arco d'Alibert (Rome) together with other Novissimi poets, including Alfredo Giuliani and Nanni Balestrini. This creative phase is often overlooked by critics and scholars. From this viewpoint, this article will show how these works brightly anticipate some crucial stylistic strategies that Porta will adopt in his linear poems later on in his poetic career—especially as regards the assembly of verses and lines. The contribution aims to investigate the connection between these earlier artistic projects and Porta's later works (focusing in particular on La palpebra rovesciata and L'enigma naturale). Lastly, thanks to archival materials stored at the Centro APICE, attention will be given to the profound relationship between these works and the private art gallery of the Paolazzi's family. From some unpublished bills of sale and artist agreements, I will rebuild this form of patronage and the links between paintings hanging on the domestic wall and pictures that Porta describes in his poetical verses. From this viewpoint, the article will investigate the pivotal relationship with Piero Manzoni—whose Achromes were formerly in Porta's father's collection—and Carlo Ramous—a Milanese painter related to his family by an official Atto di accordo, signed in January 1960. In the same year, Ramous drew the cover of La palpebra rovesciata and Porta, for his part, described one of his sculptures (Di fronte alla luna) in the homonymous poem of Rapporti. This philological approach will enable a better understanding of the poems that contain seemingly nonsensical elements but which actually depend on artistic sources.

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