LLL Today #5 – Breastfeeding and Work – Carla’s Story: Adriana

Carla’s Story: Adriana – The Effects of a Caloric Sandwich and Poetry

Original Italian Version

Quando mia figlia Adriana aveva circa sei mesi, mi capitò l’occasione di scrivere un libro su un poeta molto famoso, morto da diversi anni, di cui dovevo cercare le tracce ancora esistenti nella mia città e nella mia regione.

Adriana era una bambina abbastanza ad alto bisogno, ed era impensabile lasciarla per diverse ore.

Era l’inverno del 2000, freddissimo, e decisi di portarmela sempre dietro anche camminando lungo le viuzze ripide della mia città col naso (gelato) per aria a cercare le cose che il poeta poteva aver visto mentre scriveva le sue poesie.

Una delle tappe era in una valle verso la Pianura Padana, e faceva talmente freddo che il fiume era uno strato di ghiaccio verdissimo.

Adriana era nel marsupio, sotto a due sciarpe e al cappotto: era bollente, e la mia pancia a contatto con lei era l’unica cosa calda. Le mie mani, con la penna e il quadernetto sul quale prendevo appunti erano completamente ghiacciate, e al banchetto di un mercato comprai un panino con il salame di ciccioli (un meraviglioso salume stra-calorico).

Adriana, dopo aver ciucciato in un bar in cui stavo mettendo giù gli appunti di un’intervista con un maestro elementare, quel pomeriggio dormì tantissimo, e tuttora penso che il salame di ciccioli non sia stato del tutto innocente!

Riuscii in tre mesi a scrivere il libro, e ancora oggi dopo tanti anni non capisco come sia stato possibile che io e Adriana abbiamo scritto cose così sensate!

When my daughter Adriana was about six months old, I had the opportunity to write a book about a very famous poet* who had been dead for several years. I had to search for all traces of this poet still existing in my city and region.

Adriana was a fairly high-need child, and it was unthinkable to leave her for several hours.

It was the winter of 2000, which was very cold. I decided to take her with me all the time even as I walked along the steep streets of my town with my nose (frozen) in the air looking for things the poet might have seen while writing his poems.

One of the stops was in a valley towards the Po Valley. It was so cold that the river had a layer of greenish ice on top.

Adriana was in her baby-carrier under two scarves and her coat. She was hot, and my belly in contact with her was the only part of me that was warm! My hands, with the pen and the little notebook in which I was taking notes, were completely frozen. To warm me up, I bought a sandwich with pork salami (a wonderful, extra-caloric salami) at a market stall.

Adriana, after a very long feeding in a bar where I was putting down notes from an interview with an elementary school teacher, slept so much that afternoon, and I still think the crackling salami was not entirely innocent!

I managed  to write the book in three months. Even today, after so many years, I don’t understand how it was possible that Adriana and I wrote such sensible things!

*Editor’s note: The “mistery poet” was Giorgio Caproni and the book is Da Arenzano a Genova, alla Val Trebbia, una guida ai luoghi cantati da Giorgio Caproni (“From Arenzano to Genoa to the Trebbia Valley, a guide to the places sung by Giorgio Caproni”)


Carla, LLL Italy