I Will Never Forget/ Non Dimenticherò Mai 

I will never forget the thousands of Italians dead in a few weeks…

I will never forget the shock of losing freedom…

I will never forget people saying, It’s the Third World War

I will never forget worrying about dying young…

I will never forget my mum’s tears…

I will never forget Italians queued at night to stock up with essential goods…

I will never forget when yeast and flour were out of stock…

I will never forget the psychological consequences of all this…

I will never forget teaching to my students through a computer screen…

I will never forget when a nationwide lockdown was announced and we all felt like living in a dictatorship…

I will never forget how life was easy before all this…

I will never forget my best friend Tommy saying, It all seems so surreal…

I will never forget Pope Francis leading Good Friday service at empty Saint Peter’s basilica…

I will never forget my life was saved…

I will never forget the first happy hour with my friends after lockdown…

I will never forget Italian kids hanging rainbow drawings with the message “Everything will be all right” on their windows…

I will never forget fighting depression…

I will never forget the sight of empty supermarket shelves…

I will never forget the thousands of flights cancelled at Fiumicino airport (including mine for Kos)…

I will never forget Italians singing the national anthem from their balconies…

I will never forget all the hours spent watching cooking videos on YouTube…

I will never forget when a man was fined for running alone in a park in Rome…

I will never forget watching the Civil Protection Bulletin on TV every day…

I will never forget I wrote this poem…

The Greek poetess Nosside (Nossis, 300 BC), located in Locri (where my father was born), in the beautiful Calabria region in the south of Italy

 

Dr Valentina Napoli holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Auckland. She has published articles and book reviews in the academic journals Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, Italian Studies in Southern Africa and Linguistics and Literature Studies. She also translated Man Alone by John Mulgan into Italian (Kappa, 2015). She has worked as Lecturer at Richmond University in Rome and as Guest Lecturer and Teaching Assistant in the School of European Languages and Literatures of the University of Auckland. She has presented papers at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the University of Goroka (PNG), the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and five New Zealand Studies Association Conferences (Radboud University in 2013, Oslo in 2014, Vienna in 2015, Lugano in 2016 and Strasbourg in 2017).