This poem was composed by Francesco Lanza of Valguarnera Caropepe in Sicily. The city of Valguarnera was the birthplace of Martino Camarata and Antonina DiGrazia.They married and produced eight children, one of whom was Ida Rose Camarata. She married Louis Otto Carro. This poem was sent to me by Betty Sasso who was a classmate of mine when I attended Saint Ambrose School in Rochester, New York. She encountered our family web site while looking for information about her family whose origin was the city of Valguarnera Caropepe. Betty's grandfather was a sulfur miner


Lu surfararu                                                                               The sulfur miner

Guarda chi vita fa lu surfararu                                                 Look at the life of the sulfur miner

ca notti e ghiornu va a cala a lu scuru                                      who, night and day, descends into the darkness

metti a scippari surfu cu li manu,                                              mining the sulfur by hand,

e 'nta ddu locu amaru nudu e sulu                                            and in that bitter place, naked and alone,

li suduri cci sc├╣rrunu a funtani.                                                 his sweat flows like a fountain.

Si fa lu cuntu e lu cuntu non veni,                                             If he counts on the money, but it does not come,

quannu li figghi cci addum├ánnunu lu pani,                               when his children ask for bread

ed iddu sarà dispiratu e sempri in peni.                                     he will be desparate and always in pain.


Composed by Francesco Lanza from the city of Valguarnera Caropepe in Sicily.

Translated from Sicilian into English by Joseph Carro.

Go to: Family Arts   or   Carro Family Home page