di Dino Campana

Firenze nel fondo era gorgo di luci di fremiti sordi:

Con ali di fuoco i lunghi rumori fuggenti

Del tram spaziavano: il fiume mostruoso

Torpido riluceva come un serpente a squame.

Su un circolo incerto le inquiete facce beffarde

Dei ladri, ed io tra i doppi lunghi cipressi uguali a fiaccole spente

Più aspro ai cipressi le siepi

Più aspro del fremer dei bussi,

Che dal mio cuore il mio amore,

Che dal mio cuore, l’amore un ruffiano che intonò e cantò:

Amo le vecchie troie

Gonfie lievitate di sperma

Che cadono come rospi a quattro zampe sovra la coltrice rossa

E aspettano e sbuffano ed ansimano

Flaccide come mantici.



Ondulava sul passo verginale

Ondulava la chioma musicale

Nello splendore del tiepido sole

Eran tre vergini e una grazia sola

Ondulava sul passo verginale

Crespa e nera la chioma musicale

eran tre vergini e una grazia sola

E sei piedini in marcia militare.


by Dino Campana

Florence far off was a vortex of lights of silent tremors:

With wings of fire the long absconding sounds

Of the tram extended: the monstrous river

Thick shone like a scaly serpent.

On an indistinct corner the grinning nervous faces

Of the thieves, and I between the double line of snuffed torch-like cypresses

More bitter at the cypresses the shrubs

More bitter than the resounding beats,

Which from my heart my love,

Which from my heart, love a ruffian who voiced and sang:

I  fancy old whores

Bellies swelled with sperm

That fall like four-legged toads onto red  coverlets

And wait and puff and pant

Flaccid as bellows



Swaying virginal gaits

Swaying musical manes

In the splendor of the tepid sun

They were three virgins and one sole grace

Swaying virginal gaits

Crimped black musical manes

They were three virgins and one sole grace

And six small feet marching they tread.

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

In the “Inediti” [unpublished works] Campana plays with style and themes: the theme of Florence, for example, is developed using contrasting views. The two poems – found here in parallel text – reflect the good and bad, the vulgar and pure as seen by the young poet. –M.C.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.