What is Sicily to me?
There are hundreds of Sicilies.
An island of hundred faces.
like the tale of Medusa
who becomes more elaborate
at every retelling.
Singing like Rosa Balistreri
with an emotional strength
pouring out the tears
in an overflowing stream.
A song of Sicily’s poverty,
with her insatiable energy,
the struggles of the downtrodden
and forza d’anima of the people
who withstand anything
Rosa was beaten down by life
yet her voice sung every moment
and reminds us to live every moment.
To love and listen like Dolce Danilio
who shared the stories
of the oppressed
affected by mafia crime and clan war,
to give a voice
with respect and passion,
helping them to move beyond repression and silence.
To write like Quasimodo, Sciascia, Verga,
Pirandello, Camilleri, Buttitta,
Borgese, Messina, Vittorini,
Brancati, De Roberto
and so many others published and unpublished
because the best stories are the ones you hear
out on the street, those your nonna told you
the ones you never forget
as they are testify to the Sicilian ‘favella’,
a Sicilian way of weaving a tale,
with a colour, tone, life and drama
which exists only here on this island.
With its ancient wisdom
the island has a voice
which echoes through time,
up until this day.
With its delicate harmonies,
simple, sad, laments.
Like the ancient soul of Tithonus
a man given eternal life without eternal youth,
muttering things under his breath,
haunting time with his chirping,
buzzing around the ears
like the hum of everyday life
until time ends.
This poem is part of my poetry zine Trinacria Poems to read more about it click here.