Poetry & Narratives

Torricellani and those with roots in Torricella are known for their poems and narratives. Here we present a sampling of their compositions.


The highest peaks of the mountain

That rise before my eyes,

Catch my attention.

An unparalleled mountain paradise,

Treetops forever green

Swaying crazily, at the mercy of the wind,

Seemingly greeting me from a distance.

Closing my eyes,

I breathe deeply

This fragrance of fresh air,

That regenerates my being.

I contemplate this fountain

Of fresh water flowing down

To satisfy our palettes,

With its joyful dance

It plunges into the basin below,

Thus is born the relaxing music

Of the stream that gushes from the mountains of

Abruzzo until arriving at this small

Flower of a village called “Ripa Bianca”.

The rustling of the foliage and the melody of the fountain

Act as a lullaby on this field

In bloom, and I, with my siblings,

Abandon ourselves to this natural cradle.

English translation: Dino Di Fabrizio.

Representation of the Months of Torricella Peligna 1881

I am January and enjoy clear skies,

I freeze the water and cloak the ground.

Among the other months, I am the biggest,

I freeze the waters of rivers and valleys.


I am February and sit by the fire,

I opt for the roast and deal the games;

And I also converse with these gentlemen:

Among the other months I am the best.


March, wretched March!

Who has not tasted any meat:

Who fed on broccoli;

Poor wretched March!


I am April the most kind,

And all of the trees I set in bloom.

And the birds I let sing,

Young and old I make happy.


And I am May and am the most handsome,

I wear roses on my hat;

I wear them because I am vain;

Among the other months I am the kindest.


I am June who sows the wheat,

I sow the valley, the hill and the plain,

And I sow it every week:

I am June who sows the wheat.


All the months you have lauded

And July you forgot;

I carry the scythe with wheat.

For with reaping I am the best.


I am August with much majesty,

And I am content whoever I am:

I am the month that creates furor,

Among all others I am your best.


I am September very courteous,

I gather supplies from here to the edge of town.

And I make everyone content.

I have neither pain nor torment.


I am October and dispense seed.

I prepare meals for everyone,

Among the other months I am the best.


I am November with the new moon.

I carry the brush hook and the heavy ax,

To chop wood for these gentlemen.

Among the other months I am the best.


I am December who freezes the wind;

Ahead of me I make heat and behind me I make fire.

I cause in people torment and pain:

Among the other months I am the worst.


I am the father of twelve children,

And all twelve of them are mortal:

And among roses, carnations and lilies,

I am the father of twelve children


From the book “Tradizioni Popolari Abruzzesi” (Folk Traditions of Abruzzo), written by Antonio De Nino, and reprinted in 1970 by the publishing house Japadre Editore in L’Aquila.  English translation:  Mirella Palizzi 

Sons and Daughters of Torricella by Ada Ficca

Through its sons and daughters Torricella looks out on the world

And now the world has entered Torricella.

Is Torricella perhaps the center of the world?

For others not,

But for us Torricellans it is so.  

The Anvil by Roberto Porreca

Written in 1970 by Roberto Porreca and dedicated to Zi Fedele Porreca di ciufielle, The old village blacksmith.

On Spring mornings

When I used to stroll along the sheep-track,

I would hear a sound as if bells were ringing

That seemed to be made of silver

And the sound that spread out all around

Filled my heart like a festive song.

It was Zio Fedele’s anvil

That rang and sang

With each blow of his hammer on the red-hot iron,

Amidst flashes of gold,

The notes rose up cheerfully,

And through the wide open door in the good air,

They flew towards the sky so blue,

And clean and clear as a sheet of glass,

They pursued each other one after another,

Above the blossoming trees,

Mixing with birdsong and the cries of swallows.

I stood still and watched.

Inside the smoke-blackened workshop,

A stripe of sunlight cut through the darkness

And seemed to play amongst the horseshoes,

The pitchforks, the trivets and the keys.

Zio[1] Fedele,

Arms and hands black

Turned the red-hot iron again and again

Beating his hammer upon the anvil,

Now with a heavy blow, now a caress.

He seemed to work effortlessly, without tiring,

And when he used certain lighter, faster blows,

He seemed to be doing it just for


Then some crazy notes would emerge from the anvil,

Like a firework,

And that festive air would be born

That entered into your heart,

And spread out amongst the houses,

Towards the limitless sky and the countryside in bloom.


Now Zio Fedele’s anvil has not sung any more for a long time.

[1] Zi dialect, Zio Italian = Uncle – used as a term of respect, rather than indicating relationship
English translation: Marion Apley Porreca

Torricella Peligna by Dan Fante


For each man

There could be

One time

One space

Where the footprints of his seasons meet

By design

Beneath a mountain called Majella

In a town with an ancient Roman ruin

And wind-swept silent streets

With Van Gogh’s fields of flowers

Exploding each summer’s seed

Then have them splashed against a perfect sky.

And there he could sip friendship


Like serenity.


If such were possible

If each warm smile

And each day of gifted grace

Could be painted on the open heart

And filled with the scent of

Sweet gardenia

I’d call that place

Torricella Peligna.

To My Village by Carmine Testa delli Pizzi

You arise upon that pleasant hill, and from a distance

You dominate the Sangro and Aventino Rivers,

Mother Maiella from afar you watch and guide the plain

And the sea, between the fir and the pine.

You stay amongst the mountains to breathe the healthy

Fragrant fluid air and until

Mind and heart restore within the human

The flow of works along their mortal path.


This poem appeared on the back of a postcard of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Roseto.  
English translation: Marion Apley Porreca
Ancestors and Synchronicity by David Porreca

Perhaps, it is explained by

the many dimensions of the universe,

the membranes of parallel and mirror universes,

that make up our current mask of

cosmological knowing and imagination.

If the fitness landscape

is of innumerable dimensions,

and all the possibilities exist,

simultaneously, in present and future,

then the quantum argument holds.

Synchronicity is possible and explainable.

But, same-named forbearers, of faint

genetic relation, in the Abruzzi hills, on

the premonitory of Torricella Peligna,

must have shared a local landscape,

whose meme and gene soup of imitation,

tumultuously swirled with viscous adherence.


How else the non-local convergence?

Forlorn and foreboding mountains, a

bespoken land, a poor peasantry of

unabated ignorance and illiteracy;

spirituality yes, but surely infected

by straw-narrow tunnels of bigotry,

feudal behaviors and superstitions.

Struggling for subsistence and existence,

a culture of hunters and poor-soil farmers;

opportunities and the crop land

mostly spent generations earlier,

before the family name evolved to its present,

and dreams beyond horizons could be entertained.

Then the primal flash—the spark of ignition.

Was it courage or the common thread

of mere copy and replication;

the contagion of thought

that makes the migration gush,

from a indolent spring and despondent trickle?

Hurtling ideas into action, unleashing the hibernation

that devours the ancient community,

expelling its youth, its families, its clans;

the climax ends another

timeless aboriginal dreamtime,

destroying the old to unleash the new.

Is this the memeplex blasted

into its quantum molecular cloud;

or merely the faded hum of all familial

diasporas, as in the granddaughters of Eve?

Is it the promise of abundant life—or the deeper search,

which shadows the risk and makes the quest irresistible?


Of those many generation-later

sons and daughters of these migrants,

globally dispersed, of same name and place,

yet of diverse experiences and genealogy,

how do we explain the common thread

of their interests and their chosen lives?


The skills, the aptitudes, the adopted fields of expression?

Science, mathematics, engineering, the analytical bent:

coursing so deep; as well the golden threads

of teaching and professing these

arts of technical acquisition and discovery.

Can this be mere coincidence?

From this ancient plot of rural landscape,

the torch of objective knowledge becomes

the beam that lights and illuminates their being.

The deep specifics of this consilience,

casting suspicion on all the usual explanations

for such statistical anomalies.

Its manifest presence in the hearts and minds,

and in the very being of these

non-locally entangled strangers,

so descended from a bleak,

and desolate intellectual heritage,

begs for insight and explanation.

Torricella Peligna was not blessed

to be bathed in the cultural and intellectual stew,

as that of the Central European Christian,

the European Eastern Jew; or the universal


It imitates more the hollow and ravine country

of Kentucky and coal-mining West Virginia.

Its migrants were rural peasants who largely

manned the steel mills along the Great Lakes,

and unloaded the wharves from Philadelphia to Boston.

A survey of forebears reveals an appreciation

for education as a ascendant step in assimilation and status,

but not as a focal point of profession.

And though the ticket for the next generations of Americans

has always has been the great educational staircase,

the expectation is of great diversity in dispersion.

The plethora of Torricella Peligna’s American grandchildren,

“de Porreca”, of the plain, prominent in the analytics

and sciences is implausible and mathematically unexplainable.

So, you men and women of science what say you?

Is it the absence that drives the choices in the fitness

landscape, and the mere seeking of niches to be filled? Or is something else at work?

Is the gene and meme metaphor, its dance a viral analog

that is enfolded and linked in some implausible way?

Dare we invoke the metaphysical,

the spiritual or the mystical?

Quantum physics meets the genetic-memetic entanglement

at some synchronous Sheldrakian metamorphic level, within the foam of parallel worlds inexorably at work in

the folds of evolutionary time-space?

Some wizened old physicists, controversially say,

the undivided universe of entangled particles,

that non-locally survive attempts to pry apart their affinity,

and their unitary communion, may engage in some

stringy dance, much like the multiverse membranes that mask our observation of ourselves, and hide us from

our own image in the looking glass.

Is it our image that is hidden from us in the matrix?

Or is it our connectedness,

all curled and folded in the many invisible

dimensions of the infinite multiverse,

disallowing us the glorious view into

the smiling hand of our own creation?


Included in David Porreca’s book Sixty2: Poenza From Hunter’s Glen copyright 2004 New Beagle Publishing. David, resided in San Diego, California. He had three separate careers as a military officer, a technologist, and a financier of technology companies.

To My Mother by Adriana Rosica

My Mother you who are in the earth

Made of cries and of silence

Make me a gift of your years

The olive from your bread

The howl of the wind

At the top of the mountain

On winter nights.

Give me your thoughts

Tired with solitude

And the strength of love

That has been made with time

Because I am you

And I carry your flame

In my hands

And I leave your sign

In my tomorrow

Here, on this earth.


From the “Amici di Torricella” Newsletter, Issue 13, November 1992, page 7
English translation: Marion Apley Porreca
Delicate Blond Women by Adriana Rosica

Delicate blondes

went with the wind

in the secret hours

of shadow and fear.

The lunar languor

removed all traces

and dawn brought

long nuptial veils.

Now in my village

young girls

have warm hands

and a still gaze

on nights of love.


From the “Amici di Torricella” Newsletter, Issue 2, May 1989, page 9
English translation: Marion Apley Porreca