News La Rosa Blu

di Gerda Weissmann Klein (The Blue rose - link poesia originale)

Francesca è una bambina. Un'adorabile bambina,
i suoi occhi sono nocciola, i capelli un po' più scuri.
Se i capelli le cadono sugli occhi, li scosta.
Ma la mano non va dritta alla fronte.
Prima si curva come un fiore
al primo schiudersi dei petali.
Poi scosta i capelli dagli occhi.
Francesca è diversa.
Per me, Francesca è come una rosa blu.
Una rosa blu?
Avete mai visto una rosa blu?
Ci sono rose bianche,
e rose rosa e rose gialle,
e un'infinità di rose rosse.
Ma blu?
Un giardiniere sarebbe felice
di avere una rosa blu.
La gente verrebbe da lontano per vederla.
Sarebbe rara, diversa, bella.
Anche Francesca è diversa.
È come se Francesca vivesse dietro uno schermo, uno schermo che non riusciamo a vedere.
Forse ha colori magnifici.
Forse quei colori a volte distraggono Francesca dal prestare attenzione a quel che diciamo.
O forse ascolta una musica che noi non possiamo sentire.
Francesca è come un uccellino.
Un uccello dalle ali molto corte.
Per un uccello così, volare è difficile:
ci vuole più forza, più fatica, più tempo.
Deve essere più bravo degli altri.
È per questo che dobbiamo capire
che conquista è per Francesca imparare.
Non importa cosa.
Francesca è come una rosa blu,
delicata e bellissima.

(E' FRANCESC@ E BASTA, M.Portolani-L.V.Berliri, ed. La Meridiana 1998)


The Blue Rose
condensed from the book by Gerda Klein

------------ Jenny is a little girl--
a lovely little girl.
She has brown eyes
and dark brown hair.

If her hair
falls into her eyes
she brushes it away.
But her hand
does not go straight
to her forehead.

Instead, it curves
around like a flower
first opening its petals.
*Then* she brushes
her hair out of her eyes.

You see, Jenny is different.
Yes, different from most other little girls.

But surely all people don't have to be alike,
think alike,
act alike,
or look alike.

To me, Jenny is like a blue rose.

A *blue* rose?

Have you ever seen
a blue rose?
There are white roses
and pink roses
and yellow roses,
and of course
lots of red roses.
But *blue*?

Every gardener would
love to raise a blue rose.
People would come
from far away to see it.
It would be rare
and different and beautiful.

Jenny is different, too.
And so, in a way,
she is like a blue rose.

when Jenny first came home
from the hospital--a pink baby,
all cuddly and round--
she cried very often.
She cried more than most babies.

Well, perhaps
she saw different shadows
that frightened her.
Perhaps she heard sounds
that were strange to her.
When she was older,
Jenny always stayed close
to her mother and  held on
to her tightly.

You know,
when a kitten loses its tail
it is said to gain sharper ears.
It's true that a tail
helps a kitten run faster.
But a kitten without a tail hears better and can detect
approaching footsteps long before other kittens do.

Some people don't know about such a kitten's fine ears;
they only see the lack of a tail.

Some children are cruel and stare and taunt:
"The kitten has no tail!
The kitten has no tail!"

Sometimes, Jenny would
run up to her mother
and clutch her tightly,
for no apparent
reason at all.
At least, for none
that we could see.

And so we came
to understand that
Jenny's world was
a little different,
unknown to us,
in some ways.
We began to think that
she was in a world in
which we might not feel
completely at home.
To go there might,
in a way,
be like going
to another planet.

In a way,
it's as if Jenny is
standing behind a screen,
a screen we cannot see.
Maybe it has
beautiful colors.
Maybe the colors distract
Jenny at times
from paying attention
when we talk to her.
Or perhaps she listens
to music we cannot hear.
It is said
that fish have a language
and a music of their own,
carried by the waves.
Music we cannot hear
because our ears are not fine enough.

So Jenny might hear sounds we never hear.
Maybe that is why she jumps up at times
and goes into her awkward dance.

I sometimes think Jenny is like a bird,
a bird with very short wings.
For such a bird, flying is hard:
it takes more strength, more effort, more time.

A bird with normal wings takes flying for granted,
but a bird with short wings
has to work much harder at learning.
In a way, it has to be smarter.

And so, therefore,, we have to understand
how much Jenny has accomplished
when she does learn something.

But there is another Jenny.
A Jenny who,
on a stormy winter afternoon,
sits in her little rocking chair alone
and rocks,
holding her doll in her arms.
She is very troubled
and puzzled, and she says, slowly,

Sally says I'm retarded.
What does that mean, Mommy?
The children say retarded,
and laugh.

Why do they laugh, Mommy?"<
br> There are many things Jenny
does not understand.
And there are many things other
people don't understand about Jenny:
that Jenny is like
a kitten without a tail;
that Jenny hears a different music,
that Jenny is like a bird with
shorter wings, and has to be protected.

Jenny is like a blue rose,
delicate and lovely.
And because there are
so few blue roses,
we don't know much about them.

We only know
that they have to be tended more carefully
And loved more.