Michelangelo Balistreri is a young Sicilian poet.
He was born in Aspra (situated in west Sicily, in the district of Palermo) on 26th October 1963.
Michelangelo is an author and composer. He has published two books: Un sonnu pittatu 'nta' l'acqua du mari (A dream painted in the water of the sea), and U me Paisi (My country), assigning the proceeds of the sale of these books to needy children. He has also participated in many poetry competitions, receiving numerous acknowledgments. In August 1999 his poem entitled "Prighiera" ( Prayer) was donated as a prayer to the Pope, and is used in order to help people who suffer.
"The Voice of My Land"
You who are far away
and don't know my land
and in its destiny
see only Mafia and war!
You've never seen the sun at dawn
when the sea awakens
and with its warmth, drys the sweat
of my laboring people.
You've never seen
the brilliance of the lights
in our hearts
when even the hurts
tired of calling for attention
turn into love.
Yes, you can tell me
because you write to me only of sweetness
without ever mentioning
all the Christs who have been crucified
and I answer you.
You've never heard
the voice of my land
and the poetry.
Those other things
neither to the people
nor to my land.
Copyright © Michelangelo Balistreri
Translated into English by Arthur Dieli, U.S.A
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