Sicilian Poetry


Federico Vaccaro (1947?- )

Carlo Puleo with newspaper Federico Vaccaro, (Fef) is a jounaist and a renowned Sicilian poet who in his copious production moves from Italian to Sicilian, from satire to lyicism with ease. A versatile writer with a rich imagination Fef leans above all towards satire and clever playfulness, joshing his contemporaries with a fresh, enjoyable pungency that is never bitter or agressive. (S.B.)
Fef has been writing for the Giornale Di Sicilia for more than twenty years. You will find an impresive and entertaining collection of his work online at


Tannu amava la vita!
Quannu m`arruspigghiava a la matina
cu la vuci di Rosa
chi, cantannu,
jiava a cgghiri l`acqua a la funtana.
E lu so` cantu m`arristava `ntesta
e cchi nun mi lassava
pi tutta la jurnata.

Tannu amava la vita,
quannu, `nta li notti d`astu,
l`amici tutti, junciuti `nta la chiazza,
stvamu a millantari li conquisti
di fmmini mai visti.
E `nta stu jocu di farfantaria
vinca lu cuntu `i chiddu
c`ava cchi fantasia.

Tannu amava la vita,
quannu, cu milli liri `nta sacchetta,
mi sinteva un baruni,
quannu fumava
senza la suggizioni di la tussi
e mi para d`aviri
la forza d`un liuni.

Tannu, a vint`anni,
quannu m`arruspigghiava a la matina
cu la vuci di Rosa
e nun sapia chi fussi lu duluri,
era bella la vita.
Zocch` ora
lu sapi lu Signuri

--from -- page 13


That's when I loved life!
When I awoke in the morning
with the sound of Rosa's voice
as she went to the fountain for water.
And her song stayed in my head
and it never left me
for the entire day.

That's when I loved life,
when during August nights,
we all gathered in the square,
bragging about conquests
of girls never seen.
And the winner of of this fantasy
was he who could recount
the greatest fantasy.

That's when I loved life,
When with a thousand lire in my pocket,
I felt like a baron,
when i smoked
without the hint of a cough
and I thought I had
the strength of a lion.

Then at twenty years of age,
when I awoke in the morning
with the sound of Rosa's voice
and I knew nothing about pain,
life was sweet.
What it is now
God only knows!

--English translation by Arthur Dieli


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This page is maintained by Art Dieli.
Last updated 7/5/15