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PASOLINI, Pier Paolo

Alla mia nazione

Non popolo arabo, non popolo balcanico, non popolo antico

ma nazione vivente, ma nazione europea:

e cosa sei? Terra di infanti, affamati, corrotti,

governanti impiegati di agrari, prefetti codini,

avvocatucci unti di brillantina e i piedi sporchi,

funzionari liberali carogne come gli zii bigotti,

una caserma, un seminario, una spiaggia libera, un casino!

Milioni di piccoli borghesi come milioni di porci

pascolano sospingendosi sotto gli illesi palazzotti,

tra case coloniali scrostate ormai come chiese.

Proprio perché tu sei esistita, ora non esisti,

proprio perché fosti cosciente, sei incosciente.

E solo perché sei cattolica, non puoi pensare

che il tuo male è tutto male: colpa di ogni male.

Sprofonda in questo tuo bel mare, libera il mondo

To my Nation.

Not an Arab people, not a Balkan people, not an ancient people
but a living nation, but a European nation:
and what are you? land of babes, hungry, corrupt
governors employed by landowners, reactionary prefects,
small lawyers smeared with grease and with dirty feet,
liberal functionaries carcasses like bigoted uncles,
a barrack, a seminary, a free beach, a whorehouse!
Millions of petit bourgeois as millions of pigs

feed gouging under the unharmed villas,
among colonial houses peeling now like churches.
Exactly because you have existed, now you do not exist,
exactly because you were conscious, you are unconscious.
And only because you are Catholic, you cannot think
that your evil is all evil: the blame of every evil.
Sink to the bottom of this beautiful sea of yours, clear the world.

Poem for Ninetto I

Your place was at my side,

and you were proud of this.

But, sitting with your arm on the steering wheel

you said, “I can’t go on. I must stay here, alone.”

If you remain in this provincial village you’ll fall into a trap.

We all do. I don’t know how or when but you will.

The years that comprise a life vanish in an instant.

You are quiet, pensive. I know it is love

that is tearing us apart.

I have given you

all the power of my existence,

yet you are humble and proud, obeying a destiny

that wants you to remain impoverished. You don’t know

hat to do, whether to give in or not.

I can’t pretend your resistance

doesn’t cause me pain.

I can see the future. There is blood on the sand.

I am a force of the Past

I am a force of the Past.

My love lies only in tradition. 

I come from the ruins, the churches,

the altarpieces, the villages

abandoned in the Appennines or foothills

of the Alps  where my brothers once lived.

I wander like a madman down the Tuscolana,

down the Appia like a dog without a master.

Or I see the twilight, the mornings

over Rome, the Ciociaria, the world,

as the first acts of Posthistory

to which I bear witness, for the privilege

of recording them from the outer edge

of some buried age.

Monstrous is the man

born of a dead woman’s womb.

And I, a foetus now grown, roam about

more modern than any modern man,

in search of brothers no longer alive.