Matteo Aliffi, Software Engineer and Poet

Sometimes, designing software is like creating a piece of art. At the beginning, everything is a puzzle, like dozens of words that run through your mind. Step-by-step, they find their place into the final shape of a creation that everyone can enjoy. For software it is pretty similar – it starts with just a few ideas of how it should be and little by little, with your imagination and skill, it takes its shape.

Hi, my name is Matteo Aliffi, and I am a Software Engineer at Amadeus, an international company focused on the distribution and management of travel services. Currently I lived in south of France, in Cote d’Azur, but I was born in Rome, Italy, and I am really proud of it. According to me, it is, and will always remain, the best city in the world. After having changed a few jobs in Rome, an opportunity came up in France, so the possibility to work abroad for a company that works in a travel environment convinced me to move.

I started writing poetry when I was 14, for no reason at all. I just woke up one Sunday early in the morning, while my family was still sleeping. In the silence of the morning, under the sunrise, I felt that I should write my feelings in that moment.

I actually do not consider writing a side activity, or something that has a dedicated time. In the most cases, when something happens around me, either something that I read or watch on TV, or even a dream or a nightmare, there arises a special emotion within myself that can bring me to start writing. I used to bring a little agenda book with me to put in some notes, but now, being an engineer, I started writing notes on my smartphone. In these cases, I start writing to let those emotions travel from my heart to my head, and to get a shape of the words.

I have tried to approach many different genres of writing, from the most melancholy to lovely, and the joyful up to the scary ones, always following the happenings and dreams of my life. I have dedicated several poems to my love and future wife, and I have written angry verses about the insensibility of some human beings. I have fascinating sonnets about the wonders of the world as well as dark words coming from a nightmare. There are no set rules to my writing, which I prefer.

I have always been fascinated by poetry and gothic. Both the mystery and the possibility to overcome the strict rules of normal prose writing, by putting together words that normally could not fit together, creating figures of speech, and translating the images in my mind into something concrete, are the catalysts for my writing.

Sadly, even though I am living in a foreign country and speaking continuously in a language different from mine, I have always found it better to write in Italian. When you write a poem, the most important thing is to choose the right words. Finding and understanding the slight differences among words, which can be considered as synonyms depending on the context, can actually change their meaning. Using a language different from your mother tongue can be a drawback for this.

I have participated in some competitions and once tried to publish a collection of my poems. I went up to the final stage of the process, but in the end, when I had the contract in front of me, I realized that my words would have been imprisoned. I would not have been able to write for fun or pleasure anymore, but only because someone told me to. So I decided to refuse, and to let my poetry be free and readable by anyone on the web.

The last few years I have started exploring other forms of art, including music, acting, and directing. The fact that a person works in a technical environment does not have to choke his or her own creative vein. A creative person is certainly someone more likely to be proactive, to have new ideas and a different point of view. This is more beneficial than simply performing a daily routine of going to work and coming home.

Writing is an important part in my own life. People react to what happens in their lives in several ways – some may cry or let their anger come out. I prefer to take my time, feel the moment, and translate my feelings on paper. This helps me to better understand what I feel and releases me from my emotions.

Read some of Matteo’s poems on his blog.

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