Non era la città dove la sera

Sandro Penna

Non era la città dove la sera

ebbro cantavo fra le sparse luci

sopra la dolce umidità del fiume.

Adesso un biondo sole sulla nera

bottega di mio padre par che bruci

la nostra assenza. E non ritrovo il fiume.

It was not the city where at dusk

Sandro Penna

It was not the city where at dusk

I sang drunk among the lamps strewn

above the gentle vapour of the river.

Now a blondish sun on the black shop

that is my father’s seems to burn

our absence. And I am not able to find the river.

.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Taken from the collection Poesie inedite (1927-1955), memory is intertwined with the impossibility of returning to the past. The poet remembers Perugia, the city of his youth, and then describes it as he sees it in the present, foreign, almost unrecognisable: and he is  “not able to find the river.”

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