MADRE NOSTRA TERRA

Paolo Ottaviani

.
(A chi vi ha perso la vita, a Norcia che mi donò i natali,
ad Amatrice, ad Arquata del Tronto, a ciascuna
comunità colpita, ai bambini, agli animali e
alle piante che hanno subito i terremoti
dell’estate e dell’autunno 2016)

.
Più d’un mare in tempesta madre nostra
terra da furie e viscere irrequiete
smuove montagne altere e qui ci prostra

sul suo crepato volto, dalla quiete
tiepida delle case in un istante
vivi ci tumula e un tonfo ripete

sordo il crollo dei cari tetti, ansante
la mano un’altra mano cerca e geme
e implora tra la polvere accecante

.
oltre il morire un continuare insieme.
Qui, da queste macerie
ancora si alza un cielo
di sublime splendore e nelle arterie
nostre continua a generarsi il cielo
di un azzurro ineffabile.
Il montanaro nel silenzio indomabile
dei faggi a governare
le sue bestie e a svernare
con sussurri e carezze le prepara.
Madre perché, perché ci sei sì cara?

MOTHER EARTH

Paolo Ottaviani

.
(For those who lost their lives, for Norcia, my birthplace,
for Amatrice, Arquata del Tronto, and each shaken
community, for the children, the animals and
plants that were victims of the earthquakes
in the summer and autumn of 2016)

.
More than any tempestuous sea our mother
earth moves from its fiery depths
lofty mountains and thus we lie humbled

on her furrowed brow, from the welcoming
stillness of our homes in an instant
alive we are buried and a deafening

rumble sounds with the crash of roofs dear, breathless
one hand seeks another and with a shudder
within the blinding dust beseeches

that beyond death life should continue together.
Here, from these ruins
the sky unfolds still
sublime splendor and from our veins
there is generated still
this vast ineffable azure.
And here the mountain dweller
in the silence of the beeches tends
to his animals and with soft voice and hands
prepares them for the winter.
Mother why, why are you to us so dear?

.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Paolo Ottaviani was born in Norcia in 1948, but lives and works in Perugia. He has published extensively in the Annali dell’Università per Stranieri di Perugia. He was the director of the University Library and founder of the literary journal Lettera dalla Biblioteca. His poetry collections include Funambolo (Edizioni del Leone, Spinea, 1992), with an introduction by Maria Luisa Spaziani, the bilingual short poem Geminario, written in a neo-vernacular idiolet and Italian (Edizioni del Leone, Spinea, 2007), Il felice giogo delle trecce (LietoColle, Faloppio, 2010), the art digest edited by Eugenio De Signoribus Trecce sparse (Fioroni, Fermo, 2012), Piccolo epistolario in versi, written together with Walter Cremonte (LietoColle, Faloppio, 2013), and Nel rispetto del cielo (puntoacapo Editrice, Pasturana, June 2015).
Paolo Ottaviani blogs here.  The original can also be found here.

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