Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

The Downpour & Other Poems— Annelisa Alleva

Feb 16, 2023 | Poetry | 2 comments

Translated from the Italian by Elena Buia Rutt 


Italian Poems by Annelisa Alleva

Image used for representation.

The Downpour 

In the morning no light penetrated through the shutters
the sky was looming dark
We went out with our mackintoshes but to no avail
Then the rain immediately violent after lunch against the windows
but he was safe under the blankets with his dose of oxygen
I watched the weather in transparency
and reflected on the fact that it can be merciful
as long as you feed it with signs of submission.

Rain and Pomegranate 

The rain tapping touches the street
like the seed detached from the pomegranate fruit.


Evil Within Evil 

He was convalescing inside a worldwide evil
Stripes all at equal distance on his shirt
Stripes of rain outside the window
Scratches on the watch glass
Everything was focused on voids
Everything was cadenced on virtue
Everything, more unreachable than ever
The chemist’s red cross performed
the same kung-fu moves endlessly.

In The Bookshop 

The face mask crushes my feelings
it re-attaches my breath as soon as it comes out
at least in the bookshop, I’d like to read with my face free
just from my nose and mouth
my glasses steam up
my back leans against a crystal wall
the letters meander not imprinting themselves on my mind
the articulation of a full breath is missing. 

The Aqueducts Park 

The arches once intact
now partly covered with earth
reinforced by cement
surrounded by brambles
reduced to scattered ruins
no longer carry water
A boy walks along the path
articulating loud and dry sounds
His father with a face mask on his arm
follows him without being seen. 


The Windows 

The windows reveal the city to us
when the sun has set
Many reflect the dark light of the TV
Those that light up all of a sudden
Those in a row of the offices dead
The city does not live where one doesn’t sleep. 

Yoga Onto The Courtyard 

In the courtyard, a cat in love
then a seagull’s cry
glass from bottles against each other
a transporter’s whistle
the Santa Maria Maggiore bell tower
tolling the hours and half-hours
in the silence of three doing yoga
and the cold from the open window. 


The Internal Terrace 

One summer evening, in the courtyard, a hoarse and mature
voice with a marked southern accent
said on the phone that when you came back to me
you actually didn’t tell me you loved me
empty the cage with the parakeets of the year
before only the mute vegetation grew around
the only internal terrace and without their
chirping cover every word of hers
stood out enhanced by the echo of the courtyard.

Also, read a Togolese play by Kokouvi Dzifa Galley, translated into English by Dodzi Edem Amenyo, and published in The Antonym:

A Togolese Play— Kokouvi Dzifa Galley

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Annelisa Alleva was born in Rome, where she lives. She is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of several poetry books: La Casa Rotta (The Broken House, 2010, Sandro Penna Prize), Caratteri (Characters, 2018, Viareggio Jury Prize 2019), and Dita di Vetro, which is going to be published (bilingual Italian and English). Her poetry has been translated into English (Selected poems, 2020), into Russian (A memoria/Naizust, 2013), and into Spanish (La casa rota y otros poemas, 2022). In 2013 her essays and memories appeared in Lo spettacolo della memoria (The memory show). Among her most important works as a translator are Pushkin’s complete prose works and poems Poesie d’amore e Epigrammi (Love poems and Epigrams, 2018), Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (Russia-Italia Prize, 2010), the anthology of contemporary Russian authors Metamorfosi (2004) and an anthology of 16 contemporary Russian poets Poeti Russi Oggi (Russian Poets Today, 2008, Lerici Pea Moscow Prize).


Elena Buia Rutt is a poet, translator, and literary critic who holds degrees in Philosophy and Literature, and an MA in Journalism. Her translations include poems by Rowan Williams, by the American poets Mary Oliver and Flannery O’Connor’s A Prayer Journal.



  1. Annelisa

    Thank you very much for publishing my poems!
    Congratulations for your beautiful magazine.
    It seems to be very alive and participated.
    Also graphic is very very special.
    I wish you a long, successful future and to meet you one day!

  2. Pamela Sund

    Extraordinary poems, all of them.

    They should be widely viewed and read.

    I haven’t encountered even one poem until now

    about the facemask, its effects, and to my mind, its horrors.

    A necessary subject of course.

    I’ve also just read an account of Annelisa Alleva’s memoir

    of Joseph Brodsky, which is stunning as well.

    Again, thank you for posting; happy to land here.


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