Sicilian Poetry


Michelangelo Balistreri (1963 - )

portrait of Balistreri Michelangelo Balistreri, author and composer, was born at Aspra on October 26, 1963. He published his first book of Sicilian poetry entitled, "Un sonnu pittatu 'nta'l'acqua du mari" in 1990. He is a modern Sicilian poet in the tradition of Buttitta. He has successfully participated in numerous poetry competitions from 1986 until at least 1997.

This is a poem that I picked from his very artfully designed website, which has since disappeared from the internet. I sent him my translation and he graciously agreed to let me display it here.

poem on a picture


You who are far away
and don't know my land
and in its destiny
see only mafia and war.

you've never seen the sun at dawn
when the sea awakens
and with its warmth, drys the sweat
of my laboring people.

You've never seen
the brilliance of the lights
in our hearts
when even the hurts
tired of calling for attention
turn into love.

yes, you can tell me
why you write to me only of sweetness
without ever mentioning
all the christs who have been crucified
and I answer you.

You've never heard
the voice of my land
and the poetry
those other things
neither to the people
nor to my land.

Michelangelo Balistreri
-translated by Arthur Dieli, 9 Aug. 2000

Return to... Top of Page
or to... Sicilian Poetry

This page is maintained by Art Dieli.
Last updated 11/11/09