Nelo Risi


se un’elegia ti pagasse la cena
se un’ode ti scaldasse la casa
se un inno ti curasse la pressione
se un idillio ti consentisse un salario
se una madrigale ti garantisse la pensione
se una rima facesse da gentil ramo a un piviere
se la poesia insomma servisse a qualcosa
fosse un mestiere che rende…

Chi sa fare di meglio
non perda tempo dietro i versi

I would understand

 Nelo Risi

I would understand…

if an elegy were to pay your dinner
if an ode were to heat your home
if a hymn were to cure your blood pressure
if an idyll were to allow you a salary
if a madrigal were to guarantee a pension
if a rhyme were to act as gentle branch for the plover
if poetry I mean were to serve a purpose
were to be a profitable occupation…

Anyone who can do better
waste no time writing verse


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

This poem by Nelo Risi is from the collection Di certo cose [Of some things] Mondadori, Milan 2006.

The drawing, Due bombarde che scagliano palle esplosive , is by LEONARDO DA VINCI,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

3 thoughts on “Capirei/I would understand…by Nelo Risi

    • I knew you would like this, Patrizia! And although I know we both disagree with dear Risi (you can’t live without poetry, and therefore poets), I love the provocative note, the disappointment, perhaps, or maybe not, the subtle monition…


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