. Easter! by Rosario Previti (1882-1967), from Italian by Joseph S. Salemi Why your bitter torment on the cross, Martyr of Golgotha, if the world on which You poured your blood in agony remains Savage and fierce, and man still steeped in sin? The hand that healed the leprous and the lame Did not cleanse the craving, evil heart— Why not wash away its shamelessness, Its brutal instincts and ferocity? Today is Easter—from the tomb’s cold dark You climb again to heaven with quick steps, To trumpet-flourish and the roll of drums. But that same earth which you leave behind Rests in the tainted, bought, and weighted hands Of Caiaphas and Pilate, and their spawn. . Poet's Note: This is a poem by my grandfather, from his book Raccolta di Poesie Siciliane e Italiane (Messina: Edizioni Ferrara, 1960). He was an anarchist, a Deist, and a Freemason, and a very intense anticlerical. The poem is in standard Italian hendecasyllables, with the rhyme scheme ABABABCCDEDEDE. I have translated without rhyme, in order to maintain closeness with the poem’s meaning. . Original Italian Pasqua! A che l’amaro strazio sulla croce, O martire del Golgota, se’l mondo Sul cui versasti il sangue è si feroce E l’uomo del peccato non è mondo?! Se l’hai redento e tratto dell’atroce Mal di lebbra e del servile pondo, Perchè dal brutto istinto e l’impudore, Neglettamente, non lavaste il core? Oggi è Pasqua, e dal sepolcro oscuro Al ciel risale con spedito passo Con squil di tromb’ e rullo di tamburro. Ma quella terra che tu lasc’ in basso Rest’ al governo parzial’ e impuro Dello stesso Pilato e Caifasso. . . Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide. He is the editor of the literary magazine Trinacria and writes for Expansive Poetry On-line. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College.