Callas and Pasolini II

During the trips and vacations that they took together, Pier Paolo Pasolini made several portraits of Maria Callas, sometimes using sea water, stones, sand, and other natural elements.

Following is my translation of the the last section of “La presenza,” another poem that Pasolini wrote about Maria Callas.
Allow the little girl to be queen,
to open and close windows as if in a ritual
respected by guests, servants, faraway spectators.
And yet she, she, the little girl—
if she is neglected for only one moment,
she feels lost forever;
ah, not upon motionless islands
but upon the terror of not being,
the wind streams,
the divine wind
that brings not healing, but ever more sickness;
and you seek to stop her, she who would turn back,
there isn’t a day, an hour, an instant
in which this desperate effort can cease;
you cling to almost anything,
begetting the desire to kiss you.
Please read other posts about Maria Callas and Pier Paolo Pasolini.


  1. Anonymous19.10.10

    Love Pasolini - there is not much of his poetry translated into english.

  2. Dear David: Thanks so much for your visit and comment. I have heard good things about Antonino Mazza's translations, though I did not have them at hand when I wrote this post.