Memoria di Firenze

 

di Mario Luzi

 

E quando resistevano

sulla conca di bruma

le tue eccelse pareti sofferenti

nella luce del fiume

tra i monti di Consuma,

più distinto era il soffio della vita

intanto che fuggiva;

e là dove sovente s’ascoltava

dai battenti socchiusi delle porte

origlianti la luna

la tua voce recedere in assorta

stanze ma non morire,

non un pianto, una musica concorde

coi secoli affluiva. Senza un grido,

né un sorriso per me lungo le sorde

tue strade che conducono all’Eliso…

Memory of Florence

 

by Mario Luzi

 

And when they resisted

on that basin of mist

your towering sorrow-ridden walls

in the light of the river

amid the Consuma hills,

more distinct was the breath of life

whilst it escaped;

and whence often we listened

from the shutters left ajar

eavesdropping the moon

your voice in rooms receding

rapt but not dying,

not a tear, but music concordant

with the centuries flowed. Not a cry,

nor smile for me along your heedless

roads that lead to Elysium…

 

 

Translated by ©Matilda Colarossi

 

Mario Luzi, born in Tuscany in 1914, is famous for his poetry. He was a professor at the University of Florence and published numerous works throughout the 20th century. Winner of numerous literary prizes, in 1991 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The poem Memoria di Firenze is taken from Un Brindisi, Sansoni, Firenze, 1946 (pp 39)

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