Tell your SOUTH ITALY | “To The South of Things”: the Southern Italy in the poetry of Pasqualino Bongiovanni

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Calabria – Remains of Hera Lacinia greek temple, VI sec. b.C., Capo Colonna (Crotone) – Ph. Samba | Public domain


In silence
we come back
where the sea,
in winter,
has dirty colours
of sand and salt,
and frothy waves,
that dim one’s glasses,
moved by an African wind
full of dust.

From the windows
we arrive
to the South,
where a mother wastes
her youth
by a fireplace,
and a baby cries
at the slow
and heavy sound
of the bells.

Where prayers
are long murmurs
wrapped in black shawls.

Where life is silence,
and death, a fault.

Where smile
is the sin of a wrinkle,
and weeping,
beads of sweat in the fields.

we come back to the South,
to the south of things,
where love is mute
and given only to the Saints.

Pasqualino Bongiovanni*, from “To The South of Things” – Thunder Bay, 2013
(bilingual edition) – Institute of Italian Studies Lakehead University
© All rights reserved – FdS: courtesy of the Author for “Tell your SOUTH ITALY”

(translated by Giuseppe Villella)

* PASQUALINO BONGIOVANNI is a poet and musician. His first work titled “To the south of the things” (Rome, 2006), is a collection that features the presentation of Mario Rigoni Stern, one of the greatest Italian writers of the 20th century, and a preface by Dante Maffia, poet and narrator internationally renowned. For his poetry Bongiovanni has received numerous awards and its volume has been translated into several languages.

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