Se per il caso che mi guidava io facevo capriole: se per

la perdita che continuava la sua girandola io sapevo: se

per l’agonia che mi prendeva io perdevo: se per l’incanto

che non seguivo io non cadevo: se nelle stelle dell’universo

io cascavo a terra con un tonfo come nell’acqua: se per

l’improvvisa pena io salvavo i miei ma rimanevo a terra

ad aspettare il battello se per la pena tu sentivi per

me (forse) ed io per te non cadevamo sempre incerti nell’avvenire

se tutto questo non era che fandonia allora dove rimaneva

la terra? Allora chi chiamava – e chi rinnegava?

Sempre docile e scontenta la ragazza appellava al buio.

Sempre infelice ma sorridente mostrava i denti. Se non

v’era aiuto nel mondo era impossibile morire. Ma la morte

è la più dolce delle compagnie. La più dolce sorella era

la sorellastra. Il dolce fratello il campione delle follie.





If for the fate that guided me I turned somersaults: if for

the loss that continued its whirlabout I understood: if

for the anguish that overwhelmed me I was won: if for the wonder

I did not pursue I did not fall: if in the stars of the universe

I fell to the ground with a splash like in water: if for

the sudden pain I saved those mine but stayed on the ground

waiting for the ferry if for the pain you felt for

me (perhaps) and I for you we did not always fall unsure of what was to come

if all this were nothing but a lie where would the world

be then? Who would draw near then – who would push away?

Forever docile and forlorn the girl called on the darkness.

Forever sorrowful but smiling she bared her teeth. If there

were not comfort in the world it would be impossible to die. But death

is the gentlest of companions. The most gentle sister was

a half-sister. The gentle brother the champion of follies.



Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2018


If poetry is difficult to translate, Amelia Rosselli is the most difficult. In her poetry, there is always a state of instability: it is in the linguistic register; it is in the atmosphere she creates; it is in the essence. This poem is the triumph of opposites, positive and negative, combined in a continuous series of oxymorons, rapidly moving. Birth and death, happiness and sorrow. There are traces of her life, her sadness, her end, “the gentlest of companions”.

The poem is from the collection Variazioni Belliche, 1964.
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One thought on “Variazioni Belliche/ Bellicose variations by Amelia Rosselli

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