Memorie d’adolescenza

Riccardo Bacchelli

Un’estate, che d’estate son i tramonti lenti,
pesante quant’è il sonno e la stanchezza medesima,
non avrei voluto altro che riposare, se fosse stato
possibile. Non reggeva più neppure la voglia
amara d’inasprire in me stesso il mio male.
Non avrei voluto cedere in nulla, ma invece
mi toccava assopirmi al sole in materia
stanca. E dalla stanchezza un filo di melodia.
Supino, ombre e sole, foglie
e cielo, silenzio e cicale. Le mani
le abbandonava sull’erba riarsa, si tuffava
nell’estate l’anima e tornava d’ogni parte
carica d’ogni cosa, non articolava, non distingueva,
tornava stanca. E non poté credere a se stessa
la mattina che le filtrò un’estatica canzoncina.

Memories of adolescence

Riccardo Bacchelli

One summer, for summers are slow sunsets.
as heavy as sleep and weariness itself,
I desired nothing but rest, had rest
been possible. I could no longer bear even the bitter
desire to kindle within me my pain.
I desired to succumb to nothing, but instead
lay slumbering in the sun, a weary
substance. And from that weariness came a melody.
Supine, shade and sun, leaves
and sky, silence and cicadas. Hands
abandoned on the brunt grass, my soul
dove into summer,  and returned from everywhere
laden with everything, articulating nothing, distinguishing nothing,
returning weary. And was itself incredulous
that morning in which a summerful song filtered within it.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Riccardo Bacchelli was an Italian writer and poet. In 1927 he was one of the founders of the review La Ronda, and the Bagutta Prize for literature. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature eight times.

The poem is from Poemi Lirici, Bologna, 1914.

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