Sicilian Poetry


Carlo Puleo (1937)

Carlo Puleo with newspaper Carlo Puleo was born in Bagheria in 1937. He taught in Sicilian Regional Institutions of Art. As an artist, his work has been exhibited in prestigious art galleries in Europe and America for the last half century. As a sculptor he has garnerd hundreds of medals including for his sculpture of the justices Falcone and Borsellino, done for the municipality of Bagheria. His illustrations appear in hundreds of art books published in Italy and abroad. He has written five volumes of prose and poetry published by Ila Palma, Thule, Il vertice Libri, and Arba Sicula, as well as a volume of photographs for the Fondazione Ignazio Buttitta.

I chiavi da nostra lingua

Li pinzera comu pisci
natanu 'nto mari d'i ricordi.
Nni l'armariu d'a fantasia
circamu paroli ancora vivi.

Nun'è facili
siddu finu ajeri,
nni ci mutavamu p'à festa
e ora divintaru robbi vecchi.
I chiavi da nostra lingua
nun grapinu cchiù
i catinazzi fatati.
A doti chi nni lassò Fidiricu
La persimu dintra miliuna di valiggi.

Pussiremu sulu sta petra di mari
e a vuluntà d'esistiri.
Siciliani c'à lingua mutilata.

Il Gabbiano Di Rocca Busambra, ISSPE, 2011, p. 99.

The Keys Of Our Language

Our thoughts are like fishes
that swim in a sea of memories.
In the closet of fantasy
we search for words still alive.

It is not easy
since up to yesterday
we used them festively
now they've become throwaways.
The keys of our language
no longer open
the oracular deadbolts.
The dowry left to us by Frederick
is lost in millions of suitcases.

All we now have is this rock in the sea
and the will to exist.
Sicilians with a mutilated language.

--English translation by Arthur Dieli


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Last updated 7/10/15