VENTO E GRANA

 

Mario Luzi

 

Là nei campi distesi un’acqua luce

dove l’alta città vibra riflessa

con le torri e le statue: ci conduce

l’infanzia sempre lei, sempre la stessa

 

età sotto le stesse bianche mura.

Ma gli sguardi derivano più lenti

nel cielo dove l’albero matura

anticamente i suoi frutti imminenti

 

nel tempo da venire. Era la vita,

l’inatteso. Fra i giunchi supplichevole

un’ombra riparava e fra le dita

delle statue profonde e impercettibili.

 

Raggi incolori osavano non viste

le stelle premature, ancora insazio

il giuoco s’arrestava sulle piste,

noi sorpresi, esse morte nello spazio.

 

Una nube avanzava, era l’estate:

esalavano un alito più mite

ai portali le sfinge irriposate

tese ai campi di pioggia e alle marcite.

WIND AND GRAIN

 

Mario Luzi

 

There in the fields lies a water light

where the lofty city oscillates reflected

with its towers and its statues: our guide

as always is youth, always the same

 

age under the same ashen walls.

But our eyes are drawn more slowly

to the sky where the tree has matured

in ancient times its imminent fruit

 

for times to come. It was life,

the unexpected. Beseeching among the willows

a shadow hid and among the fingers

of the statues profound and imperceptible.

 

Colourless rays challenged unseen

the premature stars, still desirous

the game then came to an end,

we surprised, the stars dead in space.

 

A cloud was approaching, it was summer:

spent the sphinxes exhaled

at the portals a milder breath

tended towards fields of rain and water meadows.

 

 

Translation ©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 Wind and grain is taken from Un Brindisi, Sansoni, Firenze, 1946 (pp 16)

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