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This poem is taken from PN Review 84, Volume 18 Number 4, March - April 1992.

Poems for my Son Bernardo translated by Charles Tomlinson Attilio Bertolucci

Attilio Bertolucci (born in 1911) wrote these four poems about his son Bernardo, the now famous film-maker. Bertolucci was awarded the Montale Prize in 1991 after the appearance of his collected poems, Le poesie, and selected criticism, Aritmie (Garzanti).

* * *


I entered the great throng of young and old
at noonday mass, in search
of you, who were there from the beginning,
diligent child, pure soul
hungry for God, and with an unquiet eye
scrutinised the benches
But out of a humble canvas
advanced to meet my anxiety the carpenter's
apprentice, Jesus - his years were yours -
so as to encourage me, while all around
with the faint sound of the distant priest
mingled the worldly restlessness of girls and boys
kept from the Sunday sun too long.

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