Il tuono


Giovanni Pascoli


E nella notte nera come il nulla,


a un tratto, col fragor d’arduo dirupo

che frana, il tuono rimbombò di schianto:

rimbombò, rimbalzò, rotolò cupo,

e tacque, e poi rimareggiò rinfranto,

e poi vanì. Soave allora un canto

s’udì, di madre, e il moto d’una culla.



Giovanni Pascoli


And in a dusk as dark as desolation,


suddenly,  in a ruinous roar of rocks

plummeting, the thunder resounded hard:

resounded, resonated, rumbled profound,

and became still, and then waned won,

and disappeared. Softly then a song

was heard, a mother’s, and the rocking of a cradle.



Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi



In the works of Giovanni Pascoli, especially in the first part of the collection Myricae (1891), we can easily witness how the death of his family influenced his work. The mysterious, unsolved murder of his father, the deaths of his sister and mother paint his poems with the painful hues of loss.

When translating, I did not copy the rhyme, because I did not ‘hear’ the rhyme; I heard the pain, the sound of thunder and death, of sadness and desolation. M.C.

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