Tre città

Umberto Saba



Fra le tue pietre e le tue nebbie faccio

villeggiatura. Mi riposo in Piazza

del Duomo. Invece

di stelle

ogni sera si accendono parole.


Nulla riposa della vita come la vita.




Ritornerò dentro la cerchia amabile

dei tuoi monti, alle vie che si prolungano

come squilli. Poi tosto in uno strano

silenzio fuggirò ritrovi, amici.

Ma cercherò il Soldato Salamano,

il piú duro a parole, il piú al dovere

fermo, che in sé la tua virtú rispecchia.


Cercherò l’officina ov’egli invecchia.





Per abbracciare il poeta Montale

-generosa è la sua tristezza – sono

nella città che mi fu cara. È come

se ogni pietra che il piede batte fosse

il mio cuore, il mio male

di un tempo. Ma non ho rimpianti. Nasce

– altra costellazione – un’altra età.





Three cities

Umberto Saba



Among your cobblestones and your fog I

vacation. I repose in Piazza

del Duomo. Instead

of stars

every evening words are set alight.


Nothing reposes of life like life.




 I will return to the amiable circle

of your mountains, to the roads that draw out

like chimes. Then resolute in a strange

silence I will flee encounters, friends.

But I will look for the soldier Salamano*,

in legend stronger than any other, in duty

firmer, who within your virtue reflects.


I will look for the workshop where he is growing old.




To embrace the poet Montale

– generous is his sorrow – I am

in the city once dear to me. It is as if

every cobblestone that sounds underfoot

is my heart, my anguish

of long ago. But I have no regrets. Born

is – other constellation – another age.



Translation ©Matilda Colarossi


* The soldier SALAMANO (Alessandro), born in Turin, received a Medal of Honour in 1921 for his courage: when, during training, a bomb accidentally fell among his soldiers, he threw himself on it to save them.

Umberto Saba (Umberto Poli) was an Italian poet and novelist, born in Trieste. He is positioned alongside Eugenio Montale and Giuseppe Ungaretti as one of the three most important Italian poets of the first half of the twentieth century. The poems found here are from Il Canzoniere, Einaudi.

Immagineil canzoniere Umberto Saba
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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.