The Italian Riveter: SORRY by Fabio Franzin, translated by Cristina Viti

Yesterday, my Kosovar workmate
asked me could I lend him fifty euros –
looking down at his feet

working up the courage to say those words
mulled over who knows how long –
he knows I’ve two kids & the mortgage

& all the rest – & for sure also knew
my answer already, ’cause he didn’t
get mad, yes, yes, he said, I understand

shaking his head as we made our way
to the shop floor, clutching our gloves.
But me, I could not recognize

the guy who found himself having to say sorry
just as the siren started off,
with not even any time left for shame.

By Fabio Franzin

Translated by Cristina Viti

From Corpo dea realtà – Corpo della realtà

Published by Puntoacapo (2019)


Read The Italian Riveter here or order your paper copy from here.

Buy books from The Italian Riveter through the European Literature Network’s The Italian Riveter.


Fabio Franzin’s poetry describes the experiences of factory work and unemployment, and the creation of spaces of beauty, solidarity and tenderness in the margins of society. His award-winning poetry collections are written in his own ‘earthy, full-bodied’ Trevigiano dialect.


Cristina Viti is a translator and poet working with Italian, English and French. Her most recent publication was a co-translation of poems by Anna Gréki (The Streets of Algiers and Other Poems, Smokestack Books, 2020). Her translation of Elsa Morante’s The World Saved by Kids and Other Epics (Seagull Books, 2016) was shortlisted for the John Florio Prize.

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