Two Poems by Pier Paolo Pasolini, translated by Cristina Viti

From the Collection La rabbia/Anger

December 16, 2022  By Pier Paolo Pasolini and Cristina Viti

Anticommunist Youth Marches in Rome

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If you shout long live freedom without humility
you’re not shouting long live freedom.
If you shout long live freedom without laughter,
you’re not shouting long live freedom.
If you shout long live freedom without love,
you’re not shouting long live freedom.
You, children of the children, are shouting
long live freedom
with contempt, with hatred, with rage.
So you’re not shouting long live freedom!
There’s a true freedom and a lying freedom,
but it’s better to be heroes of true freedom.
Know this, children of the children,
you who shout long live freedom
with contempt, with hatred, with rage.


Series of Atomic Explosions

– Dreams of death
– Drivel of maggots in eternity
– Ah, children!
– The mothers were monsters.
– Slow fatalities coming to a head outside the world.
– The convolutions of a will
that makes of itself a monument on the summit of the Oceans.
Will that has no memories.

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– There’s nothing left, there’s nothing, nothing.
We have never existed.
Reality is these shapes on the summit of the Heavens.

– Class struggle, reason for every war.
– Subtle forms of cancer, weapons of class struggle.
– Tender green shoots of the plague, weapons of class struggle.

– Angry hissing of the defensive rich man.
– Cream of blood of the offensive poor man.

– Bourgeois brain devoid of the idea of class struggle!

– Heart benighted by the mystery of no idea of class struggle!

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– Lids of the terror that rules the world, mange-ridden roses
of the war sown by class struggle.


Excerpted from a first English language translation of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s La rabbia / Anger, translated from the Italian by Cristina Viti. Available now via Tenement Press. Maria Grazia Chiarcossi, © 2022. English language translation copyright, Cristina Viti, © 2022. First published by Tenement Press, 2022.

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Pier Paolo Pasolini and Cristina Viti
Pier Paolo Pasolini and Cristina Viti
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) was an Italian poet, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, theorist, and dramaturg. First and foremost a poet, he is a major figure in European literature and cinematic arts. Life in Rome during the 1950s furnished the material for his first two novels, Ragazzi di vita (The Ragazzi, 1955) and Una vita violenta (A Violent Life, 1959); works whose brutal reflections of urban poverty in the city were similar in character to the depictions of Rome in his debut film, Accattone (1961). All three works dealt with the lives of thieves, prostitutes, and other denizens of a Roman underworld. Other notable novels and narrative works in translation include the unfinished novel Petrolio (published in English in Ann Goldstein’s translation by Pantheon), a work-in-progress at the time of Pasolini’s death, and La lunga strada di sabbia (The Long Road of Sand), a facsimile of writings towards a travelogue initially published in the magazine Successo.

Cristina Viti is a translator and poet working with Italian, English and French. Her most recent publication was a co-translation of poems by Anna Gréki (The Streets of Algiers and Other Poems, Smokestack Books, 2020), and her translation of Elsa Morante’s The World Saved by Kids and Other Epics (Seagull Books, 2016) was shortlisted for the John Florio Prize. Previous publications include the Selected Works of Dino Campana (Survivors’ Press, 2006), including a full version of the ‘Orphic Songs,’ and excerpts from Carlo Emilio Gadda’s War & Prison Journals (in No Man’s Land, Serpent’s Tail, 2014). Other translations (including Amelia Rosselli, Clemente Rèbora) and/or Viti’s own poetry have been published in various reviews (including Shearsman Magazine, Agenda, The White Review, et cetera).

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