Amalia Guglielminetti: Asprezze/ Acerbities

AsprezzeAmalia GuglielminettiAspra son io come quel vento vivodi marzo, il quale par crudo di gelima discioglie la neve su pel clivo.Vento di marzo che agita gli stelipigri, scopre vïole in mezzo all'erba,scompiglia erranti nuvole pei cieli.Asprigna io sono e rido un poco acerba.Mordere più che accarezzar mi piaceed apparir più che non sia superba.Come il…Read more Amalia Guglielminetti: Asprezze/ Acerbities

Alda Merini: Farfalle libere/ Butterflies freed

“Farfalle libere” [Butterflies freed] is more than a poem: it is a tribute to women. Written in 1993, Alda Merini takes on one of societies worst crimes, the violence against women. ln Italy 24,7% of women have suffered physical or sexual abuse by men who are not their partners, 13,2% from strangers; and 13% from…Read more Alda Merini: Farfalle libere/ Butterflies freed

Ada Negri: Il platano ucciso/ The slain plane tree

#Audio English Italian IL PLATANO UCCISO   Ada Negri   Tant'oro io non avea giammai vedutosplendere sotto cosí tersi cieli:oro di pioppi, chiaro: oro di faggi,piú rosso; e accesa ruggine di querce.Ogni albero a se stesso era corona;e il piover lento delle foglie mortetesseva e ritesseva oro sull'erbe.Sol, fra quella biondezza, verdeggiantequalche platano ancóra; e…Read more Ada Negri: Il platano ucciso/ The slain plane tree

Antonia Pozzi: Desiderio di cose leggere/ The desire for light things

 “I’m more and more convinced that poetry and life are incompatible, like in Tonio Kröger. I am now like Tonio Kröger in the storm, I have just gone out to the shore, and am still living acts that I don’t know how to translate into words.  “Maybe, who knows, the time for words is gone…Read more Antonia Pozzi: Desiderio di cose leggere/ The desire for light things

Grazia Deledda: L’uccello d’oro/ The golden bird

As always, the theme of migration is very dear to me. This time it comes in the words of Grazia Deledda. #Sardinianlegends L'uccello d'oroGrazia DeleddaFu visto l'emigrato ritornare peggio di come era partito, con una vecchia valigia legata con una corda, e vestito di una grande giacca povera tutta abbottonata: per di più, sotto il…Read more Grazia Deledda: L’uccello d’oro/ The golden bird

Edith Bruck: Quel pensiero/ That thought

“My father looked around him and cursed and spoke of the war, of society, of the misery that would have become even greater, of the hatred, and of the fact that nothing was worth anything because everything would be destroyed. He said that it was all useless, and he laughed nervously and looked at my…Read more Edith Bruck: Quel pensiero/ That thought

Joyce Lussu: C’è un paio di scarpette Rosse/ There is a pair of red shoes

 "Translating poetry is not an arid academic and philological exercise on the grammatical and syntactical complications of language. Translating poetry means striving to understand it; it almost means reliving it. All you need (but it is indispensable) is to have a common denominator with the poet on man's position on life." Joyce Lussu For the…Read more Joyce Lussu: C’è un paio di scarpette Rosse/ There is a pair of red shoes

Amalia Guglielminetti: La solitudine/ Solitude

"Sometimes half love nears solitary two,/ deluding them one hour and unaware and unknowing hurls them afar..." La solitudine  Amalia Guglielminetti   Siamo soli nel mondo: ciascun vive in mezzo a un deserto. Nulla per noi è certo fuorchè questo vuoto profondo.   E i contigüi casi degli uomini, e i sogni e le cose…Read more Amalia Guglielminetti: La solitudine/ Solitude

#LilianaSegre: 90 years old today. This is her story. #Lestweforget the horrors man is capable of

Liliana Segre:Le più belle frasi   Temo di vivere abbastanza per vedere cose che pensavo la Storia avesse definitivamente bocciato, invece erano solo sopite.  Liliana Segre: The most beautiful passages   I’m afraid I will live long enough to see the things I thought History had definitely quashed and which were, instead only dormant.Coltivare la…Read more #LilianaSegre: 90 years old today. This is her story. #Lestweforget the horrors man is capable of

Grazia Deledda: La martora/ The marten, from “Il fanciullo nascosto”

"Minnai listened, but he didn’t care about the nun’s story. The desire to have the marten and take it away was so violently strong that it made him cry..." LA MARTORA Grazia Deledda Un giovedì d'aprile il piccolo Minnai si svegliò pensando: oggi mi voglio proprio divertire, e balzò nudo dal dappiedi del lettuccio ove…Read more Grazia Deledda: La martora/ The marten, from “Il fanciullo nascosto”

Catulle Mendès & Patricia Worth: Le Soir d’une fleur / A Flower’s Evening

  "The passing poet has a duty to collect what remains of human joy, the sadness that is like the dregs of happy things; and from them he makes verses." Catulle Mendès Le Soir d’une fleur   Catulle Mendès (1887) On l’avait jetée, pendant cette fête, de voiture en voiture ; lancée au hasard, attrapée,…Read more Catulle Mendès & Patricia Worth: Le Soir d’une fleur / A Flower’s Evening

Marta Lo Brano: Ai confini/ On the edge

Ai confini ©Marta Lo Brano Il respiro accade celeste ondoso sfuggente spiazzante quando un corpo non danza curiosa mancanza e impenetrabili e scanzonati e falò e boschi e bar su barche che non esistono e pur pur riconoscerci o invece mai. Bruscamente d'improvviso svolte sparpagliate con la tormenta - scelta? - ombra inchiodata o scalza…Read more Marta Lo Brano: Ai confini/ On the edge

Grazia Deledda: Ecce homo

  Ecce homo Grazia Deledda Eravamo entrati in una pasticceria all’angolo fra una grande strada e un vicolo poco frequentato, e il conoscente col quale mi trovavo per caso in compagnia, sceglieva alcune paste da portare ai suoi bambini. Il pacchetto roseo era pronto, e l’uomo aveva già pagato, quando il cameriere balzò di scatto…Read more Grazia Deledda: Ecce homo

Susanna Basso on L’arte sottile di Ishiguro/ The subtle art of Ishiguro

  L'arte sottile di Ishiguro   Susanna Basso   Ho incontrato la scrittura di Ishiguro nel breve anno per me mirabile che trascorsi presso la casa editrice Einaudi. Mi era stato affidato il compito di individuare un traduttore per il suo The Remains of the Day. Lessi quel romanzo meraviglioso e insolito alla scrivania di via Biancamano,…Read more Susanna Basso on L’arte sottile di Ishiguro/ The subtle art of Ishiguro

Experiments in translation: Emily Dickinson

  Emily Dickinson 905 Between my Country — and the Others — There is a Sea — But flowers — negotiate between us — As Ministry. Emily Dickinson 905 E tra la mia Patria — e le Altre — Esiste un Mare — Ma è il Fiore — tra noi come Ambasciatore — A trattare.…Read more Experiments in translation: Emily Dickinson

Poets translating poets: Patrizia Sardisco & Julia Leverone

  On Mothering ©Julia Leverone Grown diverted to light on water, pine boughs hang like wings, their tufts soft-skirted meanwhile root cling and anti-gravity strain. Mother, when my father steadied me as I walked sliding stones, forging the hip-deep river— understand that fathering is a quieter endeavor. But earlier: were we not sisters, dressed in…Read more Poets translating poets: Patrizia Sardisco & Julia Leverone

Tutti i miei autunni/All my autumns by Roberta De Piccoli

  Tutti I miei autunni Roberta De Piccoli Tutti i miei autunni si presentano Sparsi in catenelle di brina quasi in gocce e profumi e arsi Tutti i miei autunni si presentano Uno a uno Sui campi arati, morbidi e spigolosi Sui tappeti schiumosi di acini pigiati Sulle foglie croccanti liberate da temperature a loro…Read more Tutti i miei autunni/All my autumns by Roberta De Piccoli

Una breve misura/A brief measure by Margherita Guidacci

  da Una breve misura (1988) Margherita Guidacci Anche sul fango Lieto risveglio il sole resta sole d’ali e canti: ogni uccello e non s’infanga conosce la sua alba Quando è accaduto il peggio Quando è accaduto il peggio si forma un grande silenzio come un lago immobile su una città sommersa. Son più reali…Read more Una breve misura/A brief measure by Margherita Guidacci

Marilú Oliva

"The rhetorical figure found in the oxymoronic title Un’Odissea minuta [A minute Odyssey] by Daniel Di Schüler immediately calls our attention to what we will find inside its pages: the discrepancy between an all-embracing existence, and an obsessive attention to detail. It is both metaphorical voyage and immobility in a space that is only apparently circumscribed. The…Read more Marilú Oliva

Maria Messina

"Abitofbread was the laughingstock of the town: children threw stones at his legs or prickly-pear skins at his naked feet; and women, who, especially in summer, spent their time sitting on their doorsteps, winked slyly at each other the minute they saw him turn the corner..."  

Natalia Ginzburg

"I said: – tell me the truth, – and he said: – What truth. – and he was sketching something quickly in his notebook and he showed me what it was; it was a long long train with a huge cloud of black smoke and he was leaning out of the window waving a handkerchief.…Read more Natalia Ginzburg

Anna Maria Ortese

"There is, perhaps, aside from Italy, no other country in the world where the main goal of every citizen is to become a writer; and there are few others where what is written – sheer yearning of the novice or customary declaration – slips, so to speak, off the attention of other writers, like rain…Read more Anna Maria Ortese

Dina Ferri

"The heavy grey fog shrouds the distant hills which seem to become one with the low menacing sky from which light snow flakes sometimes fall, and which, swept by the cold northern winds, float in the air like the petals of almond blossoms..."

Amelia Rosselli

  "There is a kind of pain in the room, and it is succeeded in part: but what lives on is the weight of the objects, their sense of weight and loss..."

Liliana Segre

"The trip to Auschwitz – very few speak about it because very few came back – is one of the most terrible chapters of the Shoah. Mine lasted six days, and for six days this humanity lived hoarded in the freight car with its misery, with its bodily functions, with its smell of sweat, of…Read more Liliana Segre

Mariangela Lando

"All the poems in the first part of the collection deal with the facts presented here. The author combines the dramatic, and the all too real, headlines of the boat people with a biblical section. If a God exists who commands us to marvel at creation, there is also a God that man does not seek. On the…Read more Mariangela Lando

Flavia Piccinni


Elisa Casseri

"An accent or a letter can change the meaning of things, just like the position of the fingers of a right hand can determine the positivity of a system: we had found a poem written by our mother, in a book of recipes used merely to adorn a shelf in the kitchen, and Ortensio started…Read more Elisa Casseri

Miryam Pacifico

"Review of the book The lost daughter by Elena Ferrante written by “her, herself and she”. Dear readers who have accompanied me on this four book literary journey to where I am today..."

Tiziana Sferruggia

"The man with the burning cigarette dangling from florid lips crowned with a thick handlebar moustache, ebony skin and black curly hair tamed by a shiny pomade, looked at her without a trace of shame...."

Alba Gnazi

"How do we feel When We feel As if inside we had Nothing..."

Tania Puglia

"I look at myself in the mirror and don't like what I see: wrinkled, tousled, what is left of my makeup drops like two half moons under my eyes. I probably threw up, I can't remember, because my clothes are dirty...I get in the shower, but there's no water. I turn the tap on and…Read more Tania Puglia

Patrizia Sardisco

"light winds are blowing vacant winds suspended from nothing heartbeats harden..."

Susanna Basso

"The daily exercise of translation has put me into contact with phenomena of attention to the written page. I consider them specific to my art, similar, perhaps, to the tactile sensitivity of a tailor in understanding the texture of a fabric and evaluating the possible use."

Roberta De Piccoli

"Above the sea, ocean Above the clouds, above all A cry would suffice to expel the air that collects within an intestinal mass..."

Carla Vettorello

"I read you like a book But I will not be the one to turn your pages, I will not take your hand to help you write..."


These women have accompanied me (on paper, but also in life) in the past two and a half years on my blog, their words, their wisdom. So many poets, writers, journalists, scholars, brilliant women...and I thank them all. Every day this month will be dedicated to one of them (and more). Enjoy. (mc)    …Read more #womenintranslation

Crivu #6/ Sieve by Patrizia Sardisco

  Crivu #6 Patrizia Sardisco i àrichi su’ acqua sugnu idda nt’a vuci nto latti ncapu a lingua bianca muntagna e s’arruzzola achiòviri cu m’u lassau ritto ca l’acchianari ìu ca ‘l’ha chianiàru ìu   Sieve #6 Patrizia Sardisco our roots are water she is there in my voice in the milky lymph of my…Read more Crivu #6/ Sieve by Patrizia Sardisco

A T.M./For T.M. by Goliarda Sapienza

    A T. M. Goliarda Sapienza Quando fu che incontrasti il tuo dolore e imparasti a vedere che ogni donna lo tiene ripiegato contro il seno. Quando fu che improvviso faccia a faccia il suo viso sfrangiato ti si oppose e fissasti i suoi occhi di corallo. Fu scrutando la fronte tra le sbarre…Read more A T.M./For T.M. by Goliarda Sapienza

Alba by Patrizia Sardisco

Alba Patrizia Sardisco le musiche pazienti non dileguano l’acqua è un subliminale risorgente nel proprio corpo persa poderosa di sé impregnata di sé una donna traguarda da una penna bianchi balani e in altre concrezioni il mare la linea alba segna un arco sulle note tangente agli orizzonti futuribili fruibili domani tutti i limiti, lei…Read more Alba by Patrizia Sardisco

Song of one dead from thirst by Margherita Guidacci

  Canzone d’un morto di sete   Margherita Guidacci Acqua e polvere, acqua e polvere, voi non mi eravate così indifferenti un istante prima ch’io morissi: allora bramavo l’acqua, detestavo l’arida polvere, e ora tutti I fiumi dell’universo sono per me lo stesso che polvere; tutta la pioggia dell’universo non toglierà dalle mie labbra il…Read more Song of one dead from thirst by Margherita Guidacci

Un avanzo di civiltà industriale/Remains of an industrial society by Margherita Guidacci

#Savetheplanet #Climatechange

parallel texts: words reflected

Un avanzo di civiltà industriale

Di Margherita Guidacci

L’acqua bassa vicina alla riva

dove galleggiano

legni marci uniti ad angoli strani

da chiodi rugginosi

e dove si rovesciano i rifiuti

d’un astioso rigagnolo di fabbrica;

l’acqua dove la schiuma

gorgoglia in cerchi grigi

o si allunga fra lisce cicatrici

di luridi colori senza nome;

dove la nafta opprime la salsedine;

dove non penetra ondata

che sappia poi tornare al largo;

dove nulla scompare e nulla viene redento –

quest’acqua, a un tratto, ti trovi nell’anima

quando il male t’afferra

e per il tuo contagio sembra impura

anche la fiamma del sole

Remains of an industrial society

By Margherita Guidacci

Shallow water near the bank

where floating

decayed wood is united at strange angles

by rusty nails

and where waste spills

from a hostile factory ditch;

water in which foam

gurgles in grey circles

or stretches between smooth scars

of lurid…

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Teoria idraulica delle famiglie/The hydraulic theory of families by Elisa Casseri

TEORIA IDRAULICA DELLE FAMIGLIE Elisa Casseri Il momento di una forza misura la capacità di quella forza di far ruotare un oggetto rispetto a un punto, mentre la forza di un momento misura la capacità di quel momento di far mutare una situazione in maniera completamente diversa rispetto a quella che dovrebbe essere. Quando Luigi…Read more Teoria idraulica delle famiglie/The hydraulic theory of families by Elisa Casseri