Bicycle Poems

Here is a bicycle poem I saw mounted on the wall of a little pizza a taglio near where I live in Rome, which has been run by the same family for 42 years. One of the pizzaioli also rides and the poem was written by a friend for him.

It's in romanesco lingua, which means the local Roman "dialect" that's different from official Italian. At any rate the comic sense is purely Roman, which only comes through so exquisitely well in romanesco. For this reason I leave it un-translated, since any English version would inevitably loose some of that local comic sense through which the poem derives its verve and silliness.

So for those who can read romanesco, here it is:

La bicicletta mia

La bicicletta mia, modestia a parte!
È la mejo de tutte, è la più bella!
Quanno che monti sopra a que’la sella,
potresti pedalà, finu su Marte!

…e li freni, er manubrio, li cerchioni,
er telaio, li mozzi, li pedali,
mbe’, m’hai da crede, nun ce stanno uguali,
io me ce giocherebbe li cojoni!

Va via da sola, peserà ‘nà piuma,
in dicesa è ‘nà cosa entusuasmante,
sur farzopiano, gira allegramente
e la pianura, proprio se la fuma.

Ma in salita, la possino ammazzalla,
nun sò com’è, ma peserà un quintale,
la sella è dura, er culo te fa male
e je daressi fuoco, pe’ abbrucialla.

Te manca er fiato, er core te se spacca,
le gambe ti diventono ricotta,
e ce sta sempre, un fio de’ ‘na’ mignotta,
che a vedette soffri, scatta e te stacca!

So già arrivati da ‘na’ mezz’ oretta
vai a casa solo, e cerchi di ‘esse arzillo,
senza trovà er coraggio, mai, de dillo:
“BUTTATEMELLA VIA!...’stà bicicletta” !!! :D
In an attempt to make this little silly poem more accessible to everyone, I have made an imperfect translation of it. Again because the English version doesn't have the same linguistic rhythm, nor cultural sentiment, and so can't capture the same comic spirit as the romanesco, it's approximative. But here goes:

My bicycle

My bicycle, modesty appart!
Is the best of all, la più bella!
When you mount that saddle
you could peddle all the way to Mars!

… and the brakes, the handlebars, the chain rings,
the frame, the hubs, the peddles,
well, you must believe me, there are no equals.
I’d wager my balls on it!

It accelerates on its own, it weighs but a feather,
on descents it’s really something exciting,
on false-flats, it happily cruises,
while on the flats it truly blazes.

Yet uphill, they can kill her
for I don’t quite know how, but she weighs a ton,
the saddle is hard, your a$$ hurts
and you’d set it on fire just to burn it.

You gasp for air, your heart explodes
your legs become ricotta,
and then there’s always some son-of-a-b!itch,
who seeing you suffer, attacks and drops you!

They have already arrived half an hour ago,
while you ride home alone, trying to be spry
without ever finding the courage to say out loud:
Cycling Forever

Just something I wrote a while ago.

I have to say;
"I love this sport!"
It captivates my soul.
Guts and Glory:
Hand in hand,
they walk in this hard world.

Courage shown;
a wild attack:
It's all or nothing now.

Crazy dash;
towards the line:
It's all or nothing now.

All alone;
against the time:
It's all or nothing now.

Not only winners,
heroes are;
some work for others' win.
Need each other;
that's the way.
Some are stars,
Others water bring.

But if they crash;
my blood runs cold:
"Get up! Get up!

A part of the game,
it is to crash;
they know it one and all.
Broken limbs
and battered bones,
are hard to all avoid.

But sometimes injuries are worse;
when heads absorb the blow;
then concussion suddenly,
may seem a lucky one.

I sometimes wonder;
"Why watch it still?"
I simply can't forget:
A tragedy, so recently;
faces full of pain.

Yet my answer comes as quick:
"They still carry on!"
Ready for another round;
Aiming for the top.