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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