Vanità

Giuseppe Ungaretti

D’improvviso
è alto
sulle macerie
il limpido
stupore
dell’immensità

E l’uomo
curvato
sull’acqua
sorpresa
dal sole
si rinviene
un’ombra

Cullata e
piano
franta

Vanity

Giuseppe Ungaretti

All of a sudden
high
on the ruins
is the limpid
wonder
of the immensity.

And man
bent over
the water
surprised
by the sun
discovers himself
a shadow

Cradled and
softly
broken

 

 

 

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

 

“A man looks at his reflection in a stream of water, clear water, like he would in a mirror of certainty, and at first his shadow seems cradled, as if alive, but then it breaks, inadvertently, releasing, perhaps, the memory of the shadow that was once whole. And thus, in a furious day of battle, humanity is encumbered with its heaviness and its hate, unconscious of its frailty. Vanità is the title Ungaretti gave to this poem. And, perhaps, we have insisted too much on the relations and meanings which, if true, are presented in the vaguest and most fleeting form. ” G. De Robertis, Scrittori  del Novecento.

The poem Vanità, is from the collection L’Allegria, Milano, Mondadori.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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