La Differenza

Guido Gozzano

Penso e ripenso: – che mai pensa l’oca
gracidante alla riva del canale?
Pare felice! Al vespero invernale
protende il collo, giubilando roca.
Salta starnazza si rituffa gioca:
né certo sogna d’essere mortale
né certo sogna il prossimo Natale
né l’armi corruscanti della cuoca.
– O papera, mia candida sorella,
tu insegni che la Morte non esiste:
solo si muore da che s’é pensato.
Ma tu non pensi. La tua sorte è bella!
Ché l’essere cucinato non è triste,
triste è il pensare d’esser cucinato.

The difference

Guido Gozzano

I think and I think: – what does the honking
goose think on the bank of the river?
She looks happy! To the winter vesper
her neck she stretches, joyously barking.
She cackles waddles in the water wading :
never thinking she is immortal
never thinking o’ Christmas’ arrival.
never o’ the arms the cook’ll be using.
– Oh gosling, candid sister of mine
you teach us that Death does not exist:
we only die once we’ve known the thought.
But you don’t think. Your fate is sublime!
Being cooked is not sad in the least,
sad is thinking that one will be cooked.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2018

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

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