Di Vincenzo Cardarelli


Brevi sono le forme

che il caos inquieto produce.

La vita è fiamma vinta.

Ogni cosa è costretta

in uno spazio imperioso.

Ascese immani s’appuntano

al vertice di un’ora

per ricadere dolorosamente

in una perduta impotenza.

Se poi ci si rialzerà,

non è certo.

A volte il destino divaga.

Attese di anni non bastano

a dar tempo di giungere a un momento.

E noi stringiamo la grazia

come una mano che si ritira.




By Vincenzo Cardarelli


Brief are the forms

which restless chaos produces.

Life is a flame spent.

Every thing is wedged

in an imperious space.

Boundless ascents rest

on the summit of an hour

only to plummet painfully

in an impotence misplaced.

Whether we shall rise again,

is uncertain.

At times destiny strays.

Years of waiting do not suffice

for us to reach one moment in time.

And we hold grace firmly

like a hand that pulls away.



Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi


Vincenzo Cardarelli, penname for Nazareno Caldarelli, was a poet, author, journalist and editor.


An illegitimate child, he grew up in his father’s buffet car; abandoned by his mother at an early age, his studies were discontinuous. Overwhelming loneliness marked his life, as did his great friendship with Ardengo Soffici, Giuseppe De Robertis, Giovanni Papini and Ungaretti, and his numerous contributions in newspapers such as Il Marzocco, La Voce, Il Resto del Carlino and Il tempo, and the magazines Lirica and La Ronda.


This poem is from the collection: “Poesie”, Oscar Mondadori Poesia, 1942
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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