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Orgoglio di Biciclette

Updated: Aug 30, 2020

Why You Should Still Care About 'Bicycle Thieves,'' by A.O. Scott, on August 13, 2020 in the New York Times rekindled my pride. After the Second World War II in Italy, most people around us were also poor, and, as children, we captured unprecedented 'caring' in people's eyes.

There are distinct similarities between Vittorio DeSica's character, Antonio, in the film 'Ladri di Biciclette' and my father, Antonino. Lean and handsome, they both needed a bicycle to survive.

As a humble man, my father was fortunate enough not to have his bicycle stolen but was sufficiently stubborn to repair it repeatedly and ride it up and down the Peloritan Hills to go to work.

Now, I realize that like Antonio, in 'Bicycle Thieves,' my father was a split second away from losing his dignity. I know that sudden events can devastate our lives and bring humiliation.

The following poem captures my fellow humans' pain for survival. I hope that with work, they will never lose their dignity.



Bicycle Pride


You always arrived at dusk

And when you did not arrive

We waited for you in front of the mirror

In the bedroom


The night became darker and darker

Time became longer and longer

The rain became more and more stormy

Apprehension became more and more fear


You always came with a thought

And when you arrived

We saw you behind the mirror

Of the bedroom


The dark seemed more day

Time seemed more and more still

The rain seemed more and more joy

Fear seemed more and more peace


The bicycle took you

Up and down the mountains

The bike gave you work

More or less in the city

The bicycle was your

Will to live


You rode the bicycle

Like a toy

Down from the mountains

You flew with your bicycle

Like the wind


The bus was slow

You were quick

The pride

Always inside


Orgoglio di Biciclette


Arrivavi sempre all'imbrunire

E quando non arrivavi

Ti aspettavamo davanti allo specchio

Della stanza da letto


La notte si faceva sempre piu' buia

Il tempo si faceva sempre piu' lungo

La pioggia si faceva sempre piu' temporale

L' apprensione si faceva sempre piu' paura


Arrivavi sempre col pensiero

E quando arrivavi

Ti vedevamo dietro lo specchio

Della stanza da letto


Il buio sembrava piu' giorno

Il tempo sembrava sempre piu' fermo

La pioggia sembrava sempre piu' gioia

La paura sembrava sempre piu' pace


La bicicletta ti portava

Su e giu' dai monti

La bicicletta ti dava lavoro

Su per giu' in citta'

La bicicletta era la tua

Voglia di vivere


Cavalcavi la bicicletta

Come un giocattolo

Giu' dai monti

Volavi con la bicicletta

Come il vento


L'autobus era lento

Tu eri svelto

L'orgoglio

E' sempre dentro


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