Er Presepio 

di Trilussa

Ve ringrazio de core, brava gente,
pé ‘sti presepi che me preparate,
ma che li fate a fa? Si poi v’odiate,
si de st’amore non capite gnente…

Pé st’amore sò nato e ce sò morto,
da secoli lo spargo dalla croce,
ma la parola mia pare ‘na voce
sperduta ner deserto, senza ascolto.

La gente fa er presepe e nun me sente;
cerca sempre de fallo più sfarzoso,
però cià er core freddo e indifferente
e nun capisce che senza l’amore
è cianfrusaja che nun cià valore.

Nativities

by Trilussa

A thank you from my heart, all o’ you,
for the nativities you create,
but why, I say? When you’re filled with hate,
when about this love you’ve not a clue…

For love I was born, for it I died,
spreading it for ages from my cross,
but my word is a voice that’s gone lost,
vanished in the desert, disregarded.

Folks make nativities, they don’t heed me;
they make’em bigger, they make’em grand,
but hearts they’re uncaring they’re icy
they have no idea that without love
the rest is trimmin’, nothin’ much to speak of.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2018

Carlo Alberto Salustri, aka Trilussa was a Roman poet. He is best known for his poems written in dialect.

More works by the author here.

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

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