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

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