Poesie - Lelio Porreca

Quel giorno in cui le tamerici


Quel giorno in cui le tamerici

spiravano in trasparenze verso il mare

e la montagna si elevava

spinta da ignote forze.

Compresi di amare questa terra

vecchia giovane eterna

nel suo respiro vasto e doloroso.

Mi sento da allora sprigionato

fragile e sanguinoso

fra i macigni

come il fiore del papavero;

annodato alla sua contorta

e profonda intimità

come le radici della quercia

i cui rami nell’alto assalta

il gemito del vento.

Aperti faggi              

come rugose colonne stanno intorno;

picchi rocciosi come candelabri

conducono agli altari dei miei monti.

Suoni d’organo sfumano nel cielo;

canti misteriosi

inventano preghiere più su delle nuvole.




That Day in Which the Tamarisks[1]


That day in which the Tamarisks

Exhaled transparencies towards the sea

And the mountain rose above them

Pushed on by unknown forces.

I realised that I love this land

Old, young, eternal,

In its vast and painful breath.

Since then I feel as if I had burst forth

Fragile and bleeding

Amongst the boulders

Like the poppy flower;

Knotted in its own twisted

And deep privacy

Like the roots of the oak tree

Whose high branches attack

The mournful cry of the wind.

Open beech trees

Like wrinkled columns stand all around;

Rocky peaks like candelabra

Lead the way to the altars of my mountains.

The sounds of an organ gradually diminish in the sky;

Mysterious songs

Invent prayers higher than the clouds.


Translator's Note:

[1] Tamarisk – an Old World plant, a large shrub or a small tree of the genus Tamarix, with slender feathery branches and tiny pink flowers; the cultivated T. chinensis thrives by the sea; Tamarisk is also known as Saltcedar.

Tamarix ramosissima, T. chinensis, and  T. gallica were introduced to North America from the Middle East in the early 1800s. This weed has been used for ornamentals, windbreaks and erosion control. By 1850, Saltcedar had escaped from these areas and infested many river systems and drainages in the Southwest - often displacing native vegetation. By 1938, infestations of Saltcedar could be found from Florida to California and as far north as Idaho. Saltcedar continues to spread rapidly and currently infests water drainages and wet areas throughout the United States.

English translation courtesy of Marion Apley Porreca

Literature index