One of the Sicilian poets whose work I hold most dear is Turi Toscano, a humble salt worker at the Saline Ettore e Infersa in Marsala, whose simple and direct words, written only in Sicilian dialect, express with extraordinary eloquence the nature of the Sicilian soul.
Below is a poem from his book "Ora Chi Si Fa Sira". There is anothr poet of sorts, who is close to my heart, my beloved uncle Matteo Sciacca, who passed away this year.
My father's youngest brother, Zio Matteo was the inspiration and soul of our family. A successful business man dedicated to his family and his friends, he was an inspired creative force who loved life and lived it to the fullest. His absence left a deep void in our family.
Matteo Sciacca was among the visionaries of Marsala. He loved his city and took great pride in it, investing time, treasure and talent to give it the international profile it has today. He was responsible for the renovations made to the Stagnone Windmill and the Museum Ettore Infersa in the mid 1980's and his picture hangs on the Museum's walls with words of gratitude. This poem is dedicated to him and to the many beautiful memories of him that my family and I hold dear in our hearts
Li Mi Pinzera
Rosetta with Zio Matteo Sciacca
Quannu 'nta la mia menti c'e' fuscura
e fazzu stentu pi la giusta mira,
mi giru 'ntunnu e penzu a la natura
Lu suliceddu viu, quannu fa sira,
commu s'ammuccia 'n mezzu la russura
e lu cori veramente spira,
un gran misteru chi mi fa 'ncantari,
chissu e' lu munnu e nun si po' canciari.
Turi Toscano from his collected poems:
Ora Chi Si Fa Sira
Zio Matteo with my husband Michael
When my mind is clouded
struggling to take aim,
I look around me and contemplate nature.
I see a hint of sun,when evening falls,
how it hides among the redness
and my heart perceives
a great mystery that enchants me,
this is the world, and it can't be changed.
Zio Matteo with my son Fabrizio
Turi Toscano as translated by R.S. Volkov;
dedicated to Zio Matteo Sciacca....we will never forget you.