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A Poem For Mother’s Day Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Culture

In Italy, on the second Sunday of May, we celebrate la Festa della Mamma (Mother’s Day). This is a fairly new festival, having been ‘imported’ into Italy from America after the Second World War.

I’ve found a very appropriate poem for the occasion by Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908) for his mother. It’s called Se Fossi Pittore (If I Were A Painter).

Ritratto della Madre, di Giacomo Balla

Se Fossi Pittore

Non sempre il tempo la beltà cancella
o la sfioran le lacrime e gli affanni:
mia madre ha sessant’anni,
e più la guardo e più mi sembra bella.

Time doesn’t always delete beauty
or tears and worries blemish it:
my mother is sixty years old,
and the more I look at her the more beautiful she seems.

Non ha un accenno, un guardo, un riso, un atto
che non mi tocchi dolcemente il core;
ah, se fossi pittore,
farei tutta la vita il suo ritratto!

She has no allusion, no look, no laugh, no gesture
which doesn’t sweetly touch my heart;
ah, if I were a painter,
I would paint her portrait all life long!

Vorrei ritrarla quando china il viso
perch’io le baci la sua treccia bianca,
o quando, inferma e stanca,
nasconde il suo dolor sotto un sorriso

I’d like to portray her when she lowers her face
so that I may kiss her white braid,
or when, ill and weary,
she hides her pain beneath a smile.

Pur, se fosse il mio priego in ciel accolto,
non chiederei del gran pittor d’Urbino
il pennello divino
per coronar di gloria il suo bel volto;

Yet, if my prayer was in heaven granted,
I would not ask for the divine brush
of the great painter from Urbino
to crown with glory her beautiful face;

vorrei poter cangiar vita con vita,
darle tutto il vigor degli anni miei,
veder me vecchio, e lei
dal sacrificio mio ringiovanita.

I’d like to swap life with life,
give her all the strength of my years,
see myself old, and her
rejuvenated by my sacrifice.

Buona Festa della Mamma!

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Comments:

  1. Arturo:

    Que bella poema.

  2. Arturo:

    Que bello poema.

  3. Cecilia:

    Il poema è bellissimo, Serena! Grazie mille per il post! 😉

  4. Jan:

    Beautiful!


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