La mia voce

Amalia Guglielminetti

La mia voce non ha rombo di mare
o d’echi alti tra fughe di colonne:
ma il susurro che par fruscìo di gonne
con cui si narran feminili gare.

Io non volli cantar, volli parlare,
e dir cose di me, di tante donne
cui molti desideri urgon l’insonne
cuore e lascian con labbra un poco amare.

E amara è pur la mia voce talvolta,
quasi vi tremi un riso d’ironia,
più pungente a chi parla che a chi ascolta.

Come quando a un’amica si confida
qualche segreto di malinconia
e si ha paura ch’ella ne sorrida

My voice

Amalia Guglielminetti

My voice is not the roar of the ocean
or of echoes along the fluting on columns
but the whisper like the rustling of gowns
with which female struggles are spoken.

I did not want to sing, I wanted to speak
and say things about me, about many women
whose countless dreams require the restive
heart and leave on lips a slightly bitter taste.

And my voice too is sometimes bitter,
as if sardonic laughter trembles there,
more biting for the speaker than the listener.

Like when some melancholy secret
with a friend you share
and you fear she may dismiss it.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2019

When the poet Amalia Guglielminetti was asked: “What, in your opinion, is humourism?” She quickly responded: “Humourism is the truth wearing a clown costume, joking on a tight rope.” There is no humour in this poem, La mia voce, from the collection Seduzioni,  but an unhappy truth:  women have often been penalized in the arts.

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