Il vetro rotto
di Umberto Saba
Tutto si muove contro te. Il maltempo,
le luci che si spengono, la vecchia
casa scossa a una raffica e a te cara
per il male sofferto, le speranze
deluse, qualche bene in lei goduto.
Ti pare il sopravvivere un rifiuto
d’obbedienza alle cose.
E nello schianto
del vetro alla finestra è la condanna.
The broken pane
by Umberto Saba
Everything moves against you. The storm,
the lights that go off, the old
house rattled by a gust and to you dear
for the pain suffered, the hopes
shattered, some good times had there.
Survival feels to you like a refusal
to obey the order of things.
And with the crash
of the window pane comes the sentence.
Translation ©Matilda Colarossi
The poem The broken pane, by Umberto Saba is from Il Canzoniere, in the collection Tutte le poesie, Mondadori, Milano, 1988. Written between 1935 and 1943, during the fascist regime and, therefore, the persecution of the Jews (Saba was Jewish), the poem describes a house that is anything but a safe haven. Saba’s house is something fragile, incapable of resisting the hostility of the outside world, the wind that rattles it, the condemnation. It is a house of death and resignation.
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