di Guido Gozzano



Il bimbo guarda fra le dieci dita

la bella mela che vi tiene stretta;

e indugia – tanto è lucida e perfetta –

a dar coi denti quella gran ferita.


Ma dato il morso primo ecco s’affretta:

e quel che morde par cosa scipita

per l’occhio intento al morso che l’aspetta…

E già la mela è per metà finita.


Il bimbo morde ancora – e ad ogni morso

sempre è lo sguardo che precede il dente –

fin che s’arresta al torso che già tocca.


«Non sentii quasi il gusto e giungo al torso!»

Pensa il bambino… Le pupille intente

ogni piacere tolsero alla bocca.



by Guido Gozzano



The child looks amid his ten little fingers

at the delightful apple firmly held there

and he delays – it is so perfect so fair –

making with his teeth a scar that lingers.


But after the first bite he hastens his chewing

what he is eating seems so insipid

to his hungry eye whose next bite’s awaiting…

And already the apple’s half vanished.


The child bites again – and with every bit more

the forward glance precedes the morsels–

until the core alone lies in his hand.


“I hardly savoured it and have reached the core!”

thinks the little child…His voracious pupils

every pleasure from his mouth have banned.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi



Guido Gozzano (December 19, 1883 – August 9, 1916) was an Italian poet and writer.

The poem Parabola [Parable] is from the collection La via del rifugio.

There is a child, holding an apple. At first he takes his time, then eats voraciously, and this is, according to the author, life: we devour it, consume it in the hopes of something better without realizing that what was best is what we already possessed. M.C.

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