Laura Bilanceri, Assistant Professor of Italian

"San Martino Del Corso"
by Giuseppe Ungaretti

Di queste case
non è rimasto
che qualche
brandello di muro

Di tanti
che mi corrispondevano
non è rimasto
neppure tanto

Ma nel cuore
nessuna croce manca

È il mio cuore
il paese più straziato

It has been hard for me to choose just one poem, because I love poetry and I want to send poems not only in Italian, but in Portuguese and Turkish too! But I choose San Martino del Carso by Giuseppe Ungaretti. This poem was written during World War I in 1916 on the Northeastern Italian front. The poet returns to the destroyed village of San Martino and seeing the devastation recalls to him all his dead friends. Everything -- the village, the people and Ungaretti's heart -- is devastated by the destruction made by war. This strong description of the destroyed buildings, the killing of innocent people and the feelings of mourning in the poet's heart can be seen as an analogy with the feelings that gave me the images of the earthquakes that hit the central part of Italy.