Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Translation of poem by Mario Luzi

First Night of Spring

Something dies, something is born

the moment a rumble of thunder splits open

the upper reaches of the night, sudden

announcement of spring, rupturing sleep...

Generations on generations

of men, some defeated, some lifted

by their savage miseries,

ages thick with pain, one into the next,

onto one suffering, one single point,

bearing down, massing together, moaning

and creaking from pier to pier, the bridge

darkening toward the last span,

the tree at its limit, from root to fruit.

My hand is on the stitch of pain, I'm listening.

First night of spring, swelling

and lacerating, between becoming and being.

translation by Nick Benson of Mario Luzi (1914-2005), 'Prima notte di primavera,' Dal fondo delle campagne (1956-1961), in Tutte le poesie (Garzanti, 1988), p. 278.

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