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Rocco Scotellaro: Poems

By Rocco Scotellaro

Translated by Allen Prowle

Rocco Scotellaro: Poems


The screeching of crickets is always with me,
and the tinkling bell on the neck
of a restless goat.
I am bound by the wind
in weightless silver ribbons.
Up there, lost in the clouds’ shadows,
lies a Lucanian village, in its tiny fragments.


Rocco Scotellaro was born in 1923 in Tricarico, in the impoverished southern region of Lucania. When he died at the age of thirty, he had published poems in regional and national magazines and was beginning to attract significant critical attention and acclaim. In the year after his death a first collection, È fatto giorno, selected by Carlo Levi from over four hundred poems in his possession, was awarded both the Pellegrino and Viareggio prizes. Further selections were edited by Franco Fortini in 1974 and Franco Vitelli in 1978 and 1982. Recognition of Scotellaro’s importance and achievement came in 2004 with Mondadori’s publication in its Oscar Series of the complete poems.

Allen Prowle was awarded the Times/Stephen Spender Prize 2007 for his translations of poems by Attilio Bertolucci. Previously, the Lincolnshire Association commissioned his translations of poems by Paul Verlaine to commemorate the centenary of the poet's residence in Stickney in 1875. A collection of his own poems, Landmarks, appeared in 1977.

Allen Prowle's translations of Rocco Scotellaro first appeared in MPT 3/10 The Big Green Issue.

Photos by Amarjit Chandan from the launch of this pamphlet on 7th March 2012 at The Italian Bookshop in London.

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About the MPT Poets Series

The MPT Poets pamphlets series will feature an extended selection of translated poems by poets and translators first discovered in MPT, whose work the editors feel deserves wider attention. We plan to publish one pamphlet per year.

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