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Articles by: Joseph Tusiani

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    From “The Poet OF Two Lands,” Native Of Apulia" Quartetto Garganico by Joseph Tusiani


    SWALLOWS IN PADULA STREET
    Swallows swallows everywhere,
    and not only in the air
    but now also on the ground
    to be graciously around.
    Look at some of them right here
    in my street and near my home,
    hopping happy, maybe looking
    for some welcome easy crumb.
    One of them comes closer closer
    not for food as I surmise
    but perhaps to bring to me
    just its precious company.
    But can such a thing be true
    that a creature of the skies
    is not only down on earth
    but is eager now to be
    just with me and only me?
    Welcome, welcome, little bird,
    and be not at all afraid.
    It is I who strongly fear
    that, if only I come near,
    you will quickly fly away,
    thinking wrongly—God forbid—
    I don’t want you here to stay.
    Little bird, what did I do
    that so fast away you flew?
    I was just about to tell you
    that your hopping I enjoy.
    It reminds me of the time
    when, like any healthy boy,
    I would run and sing and play.
    But a more important thing,
    little bird, I would have said:
    “Promise me to come right back,
    to come often back to me
    just to keep me company.”
     
     
    ULIVI DEL GARGANO
    Non come noi, han secoli gli ulivi,
    fissi contorti nella dura scorza
    che ne cattura la forza. Privi
    sono gli ulivi di mollezze lievi
    e stagionali appariscenze rare,
    nati a restar come restano gli evi.
    Sono gli ulivi della terra mia,
    sono la terra mia stessa, riarsa,
    fiera e ferrigna e feconda e forte
    nella calura maligna, e gentile
    nella breve frescura mattinale
    che nell’ora serale è lieta sorte.
     
    LI VUCELLE ‘LU CAMPANARE
    Me mpaccesse
    pe qquessi
    bbelle
    vucelle
    che vvòlene nturne
    tuttu lu jurne.
    Nu mare de vote
    l’ej viste recòte
    come na squatra
    sope lu campanare
    ‘la Cchjesia Matra.
    Ma joje me pare
    che vvonne dice
    propia accuscì:
    “Sinte, Peppì,
    non t’avvelenne.
    Li male venne,
    venne e vvanne.
    Lu jurne àdda menì—
    ma crìdece, Peppì—
    quanne pure tu,
    vu’ o no vvu’,
    cu ttutte lu bbone,
    ha’ lenzà ssu bastone
    e, cchjù de prima,
    àda fà rima
    cu vvucelle
    e ccose bbelle.”
     

    VIR MONTANUS
    Montis imago tenet mentem, tenet omnia nota
    Atque ignota meae vitae quae monte creatast.
    Durae sunt cautes qui stant in pectore sensus
    Ac durissima nunc et semper praefero verba.
    Sum petreus sicut mons ille, tenax quoque vivo
    Ut vivit ventus per viva cacumina spirans.
    Sum qui sum, vir montanus de rupibus altus,
    Cortex rugosus, lignum pluviis obsistens.
    Atqui cur, mihi dicite, cur coram indice lucis
    Matutinae sum mollis mitisque poeta?