La passione mi divorò giustamente


Amelia Rosselli

La passione mi divorò giustamente

la passione mi divise fortemente

la passione mi ricondusse saggiamente

io saggiamente mi ricondussi


alla passione saggistica, principiante

nell’oscuro bosco d’un noioso

dovere, e la passione che bruciava


nel sedere a tavola con i grandi

senza passione o volendola dimenticare


io che bruciavo di passione

estinta la passione nel bruciare


io che bruciavo di dolore nel

vedere la passione così estinta.

Estinguere la passione bramosa!

Distinguere la passione dal


vero bramare la passione estinta

estinguere tutto quel che è


estinguere tutto ciò che rima

con è: estinguere me, la passione


la passione fortemente bruciante

che si estinse da sé.


Estinguere la passione del sé!

estinguere il verso che rima

da sé: estinguere perfino me


estinguere tutte le rime in

“e”: forse vinse la passione

estinguendo la rima in “e”.

Passion devoured me justly


Amelia Rosselli

Passion devoured me justly

passion divided me completely

passion conducted me back wisely

I wisely conducted myself back


to the passion of wise words, a novice

in the obscure woods of a monotonous

duty, and the passion that was burning


as I sat at a table with the greats

with no passion and wanting to forget


I who was burning with passion

extinguished was the passion as it burned


I who was burning with the pain

of seeing passion thus extinguished.

Extinguishing the yearning passion!

Distinguishing the passion from


real yearning for the passion extinguished

extinguishing everything that is be


extinguishing everything that rhymes

with be: extinguishing me, the passion


the passion strongly burning

that extinguished itself alone.


Extinguishing the passion of one!

extinguishing the verse that rhymes

alone: extinguishing even me


extinguishing all that rhymes with

“one”: perhaps the passion won

by extinguishing the rhyming “one”.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Amelia Rosselli (Paris 1930 – Rome 1996), was the daughter of the exiled anti-fascist Carlo who, with his son Nello, was killed by the Fascists in 1937. She lived in France, England and the USA. Musician, composer, expert in ethno-musicology, she brought her music to her poetry, written in French, English and Italian. Her work is highly experimental and original, and was inspired by such artists as Campana and Montale. Among her works we find: Variazioni belliche (1964); Serie ospedaliera (1969); Documento 1966-1973 (1976); Primi scritti 1952-1963 (1980); Impromptu (1981); Appunti sparsi e persi 1966-1977 (1983); La libellula (1985); Antologia poetica (1987); Sonno-Sleep (1953-1966), translated by A. Porta (1989); Diario ottuso 1954-1968 (1990); Sleep, poetry in English translated by E. Tandello (1992). She was also a translator of the works of Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson, and an editorial consultant for Edizioni di Comunità. Her spiritual suffering led to her death by suicide in 1996.

This poem is part of the collection Documento (1976) which includes Amelia Rosselli’s work from 1966-1973. These ten verses read like a variation of a sonnet, made up of insistent almost obsessive beats that oscillate between duty and a yearning passion, burning pain and extinction by this pain, wisely (through painful irony), and passionately as time burns and extinguishes the “one”, of oneself.  It is the extinguishing pain that keeps one from suffering again.

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