Se il cielo fosse bianco di carta

Ivan Della Mea
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OriginalEnglish Version by Riccardo Venturi

Se il cielo fosse bianco di carta
e tutti i mari neri d'inchiostro
non saprei dire a voi, miei cari,
quanta tristezza ho in fondo al cuore,
qual è il pianto, qual è il dolore
intorno a me.

Si sveglia l'alba nel livore
di noi sparsi per la foresta,
a tagliar legna seminudi,
coi piedi torti e sanguinanti;
ci hanno preso scarpe e mantelli,
dormiamo in terra.

Quasi ogni notte, come un rito,
ci danno la sveglia a bastonate;
Franz ride e lancia una carota
e noi, come larve affamate,
ci si contende unghie e denti
l'ultima foglia.

Due ragazzi sono fuggiti:
ci han raccolti in un quadrato,
uno su cinque han fucilato,
ma anche se io non ero un quinto
non ha domani questo campo...
ed io non vivo,
Questo è l'addio
a tutti voi, genitori cari,
fratelli e amici,
vi saluto e piango.


If all the Heavens were paper
and all the seas of the world were ink
I could not tell you, my dear parents,
how much deep sadness I got in my heart.
How many tears, how much pain
I see around me.

We rise up at livid daybreak
then they drive us to the woodland
to cut wood, ragged and half-naked,
with our feet crooked and bleeding;
they took our shoes and coats away,
we sleep on the bare floor.

Almost every night, like a ritual,
they come and beat us with wooden clubs;
Franz laughs and throws us a carrot
and we, like hungry grubs
fight with teeth and nails
even for the last leaf.

Two boys have escaped:
so we were ordered to form a square.
Then they shot one dead every five,
but even if I was no fifth in order
there’s no future for me in this camp,
and I cannot live.

I bid you farewell
to all of you, my beloved parents,
brothers and friends.
I greet you and weep.


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