Ospedale di Siena, 4 aprile 1930.

Di Dina Ferri

La mia vita fino ad oggi? È un libro di quattro pagine. Come per le viole, la prima è più odorosa. L’ultima è sgualcita dalla pioggia, proprio come l’ultima mammola piegata su lo stelo dall’acquazzone d’estate. Tornerà il sole?


Ieri dissi che la mia vita trascorsa è un libro di quattro fogli. Oggi penso che la vita di tutti è un libro in ogni tempo, non importa di quanti fogli. Anche tra questi, come tra quelli che raccoglie il libraio nella sua bottega, ci sono i libri che aprono al bello la mente e curano il cuore ammalato. Accanto a questi stanno i libri che non si debbono leggere, o di cui si debbono temere i pensieri che intossicano l’anima col profumo troppo acuto di un fiore che la terra non dà.

Ma pure, vedete, non mi pare che questi libri siano poi tanto inutili o dannosi in ogni pagina che li compone. Sfogliandoli attentamente, con pazienza, in fondo a qualche pagina sgualcita, si trova spesso un pensiero, una parola che ci meraviglia e ci commuove fino a strapparci una lacrima a cui non si può credere. Forse questa parola e questo pensiero non esistono nel libro scritto pel cuore, e in una pagina nitida di esso si leggerà, con meraviglia che ci rattrista, una parola o un pensiero che non si era supposto.

Hospital in Siena, April 4, 1930.

By Dina Ferri

My life until today? It is a four page book. Like with violets, the first is the most fragrant. The last is shrivelled by the rain, exactly like the last sweet violet folded over its stem because of a summer shower. Will the sun come out again?


Yesterday I said my past life was a four page book. Today I think everyone’s life is a book of any given length, it doesn’t matter how many pages it has. And among these, like with those collected by the antiquarian in his shop, there are books that open the mind to beauty and cure the aching heart.  Beside these, there are books that should not be read, or of which we must be wary because they hold thoughts that intoxicate the soul with the much too pungent scent of a flower that is not born from the earth.

But still, you see, I don’t think these books are in fact useless or hurtful in their every page. By leafing through them patiently, at the bottom of one shrivelled page, you often find a thought, a word that enlightens and moves us to tears we would not have believed possible. Maybe this word and this thought cannot be found in the book written for the heart, and on one of its bright pages we will read, surprised and deeply saddened, a word or thought we had not expected.

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

After four months of atrocious suffering, the young poet Dina Ferri passed away in a hospital in Siena in 1930. Bed n. 185 in a bare room, on the floor for underprivileged women.

Born in the province of Siena in 1908 from a poor family of farm workers, Dina was forced to leave school after only three years to help on the farm. Passionate about books, she started writing poetry about the beauty of nature. After losing three fingers in the fields, she was able to return to school. Dina Ferri kept a notebook with her at all times. She called it “Quaderno del nulla” [A notebook of nothings]. It was published in 1931 by Treves and in 1999 by Edizioni Il Leccio, Siena.766892

Other books containing the works of Dina Ferri:2977_6274
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