Mario Luzi

il vento è un’aspra voce che ammonisce

per noi stuolo che a volte trova pace

e asilo sopra questi rami secchi.

E la schiera ripiglia il triste volo,

migra nel cuore dei monti, viola

scavato nel viola inesauribile,

miniera senza fondo dello spazio.

Il volo è lento, penetra a fatica

nell’azzurro che s’apre oltre l’azzurro,

nel tempo ch’è di là dal tempo; alcuni

mandano grida acute che precipitano

e nessuna parete ripercuote.

Che ci somiglia è il moto delle cime

nell’ora – quasi non si può pensare

né dire – quando su steli invisibili

tutt’intorno una primavera strana

fiorisce in nuvole rade che il vento

pasce in un cielo o umido o bruciato

e la sorte della giornata è varia,

la grandine, la pioggia, la schiarita.


Mario Luzi

The wind is a harsh voice that cautions

us flock who sometimes find peace

and shelter on these dead branches.

And the formation resumes its sad flight,

migrating into the heart of the mountain, violet

carved into the inexhaustible violet,

a bottomless mine in space.

The flight is slow, piercing with difficulty

the blue that opens beyond the blue,

in a time that is on the other side of time; some

let out sharp cries that fall heavily

and which no walls reverberate.

What resembles us is the sway of the tips

in the moment – we can almost not imagine

nor say it – in which on invisible stems

all around a strange spring

blossoms in sparse clouds that the wind

herds in a sky either wet or burnt

and the outcome of the day is varied,

spells of hail, of rain, of sun.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

From the collection by Mario Luzi,  “Onore del vero“, 1957, (Neri Pozza, Venezia). In a beautiful article by Pier Paolo Pasolini, published in “Passione e ideologia” (Garzanti, Milano, 1973), the author underlines the main characteristics of the landscape that emerges from the poems in the collection: « […] in the land where Luzi lives, there is always rain, or almost always, or strong winds or freezing cold. If the sun does appear, it is unhealthy and makes one sick; if the sky is clear, it is haunted and heavy, tormenting the body of the ill, the convalescing, the psychasthenic… This “choice” of landscape within a real landscape, corresponds to a similar, let’s say, sociological “choice”. […] We have huts along river banks in the outskirts, groups of shacks, refugee camps, diners as sad as caverns, etc. The protagonists that fill these places are not just poor but wretched, tramps, alive and colourful in their social extravagance, but atrociously grey. “

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