Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The voices in my head speak with perfect accents (POW Prompt 7)

Chi sono io?

My i strayed from its o
decades before the sperm and egg had wed,
hatching me to a self-soaking
tub where the immigrant
pigments of Ermano e Rosa
were twice removed.

Quando dormo
gli antenati stanno sempre
sussurando indicazioni

Rosa e Ermano each descend
on separate planks plunked down to greasy
rock by proverbial boats.
When they do, Emma Lazarus doesn't
warn them the Lady's "give me"
comes with a take.

Provo a sentire
le due parole dolci
ma non posso

Ermano e Rosa each find
American spouses, have American kids
who sprout to twist a native tongue
till an ill-fit, its tang is
left in must and un-dusted
just for periodic trips back.

Ripeto, Chi sono io?
E nel questo sogno
i voci mi dicono di nuovo...

Let's skip the unplugged generation's gap
to where my i reacquaints with its o,
but their made-up past makes
a tenuous tether, so together
Rosa e Ermano drift on
the whispers of a forgotten song.

Non dimenticar

This week's Poetry on Wednesday Prompt asks us to "sprinkle" some Italian into our poetry. Since that's my linguistic heritage, I may have gone a little overboard with the spicing. Here is a translation of the Italian lines:

Who am I?
When I sleep
the ancestors are always
whispering hints
I try to hear
the two soft words
but I can't
(in love)
I repeat, Who am I?
And in this dream
the voices tell me again...
Don't forget
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