Italian prose on porticos

In a previous post, I included a photograph of a poem that was painted onto a wall here in Bologna. The city is full of these short poems that can be spotted on signs, stone walls, and street corners. I’ve been collecting and translating them for the past few weeks, but I’ve edited this post to include a few. The poems are still a mystery to me, but they seem to have been placed around the city by the Movement for the Emancipation of Poetry.
The MVP (Movimento Emancipazione Poesia) has stated the following about their work in Bologna, Italy

“To this day, in the vulgar contemporary society, poetry does not hold the role that, for cultural and historical reasons, it is entitled to. This is not because it no longer carries the ability to communicate and elicit emotions, feelings and fantasies, but rather because although poetry continues to be written, it is no longer read, the preference being for cheap empty entertainment over the noble and difficult exercise of spirited thought. […]”

These photos and translations (done by me) will be edition number one of a series of posts I’d like to do. It seems that I’ve still got over 100 poems to discover in this city.

I swear on my own heart
I’ve never wanted it!
Can you hear it beating?
How do we surrender to the certainty of possessing one another?
It’s the fear
We’ll go in search of
other peaks
from which we can

We still speak of
Faded memories
Of the days yet to arrive
Of bridges and boundaries
Of sunrises, sunsets
Of us.
It’s a fine line,
The end.

We are the same verb,
declined* in different tenses.
Different windows on the same moon
Mismatched eyes crying the same tears

*a process used in Latin grammar [declension]

Finally, my personal favourite

I hate you.
I hate you because you came into my life way too early.
I’m nothing yet. I’m mud between the fingers of destiny.
An insane compass driving me.
I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that what I will be will destroy what we were, removing your eyes that watch me every morning, hanging on the ceiling of my bedroom.



One thought on “Italian prose on porticos

  1. Thanks for taking the time to photograph and translate these lovely poems. One of the reasons I love Italy so much, is this deep understanding of the importance of creativity within a culture. Of course, as consumer capitalism reduces the validity of art to only worthy according to monetary value – those who love art for its own sake must take up the fight. Thanks for supporting a worthy cause : )


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