San Martino del Carso

Giuseppe Ungaretti

Di queste case
Non è rimasto
Che qualche
Brandello di muro

Di tanti
Che mi corrispondevano
Non è rimasto
Neppure tanto

Ma nel cuore
Nessuna croce manca
È il mio cuore
Il paese più straziato

San Martino del Carso

Giuseppe Ungaretti

Of these homes
Nothing is left
But the rare
Shred of wall

Of the many
Whom I once met
Nothing is left
Nothing much at all

But in my heart
No cross is lacking
For my heart is
the most shattered land of all

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2018

In this poem the poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti, expresses the pain and suffering he feels for the loss of his companions in battle (WWI), and the desolation for the ruin all around him. Every absence, every void caused by the war, the battles, and death is a scar on his heart.

He compared life to the land around him, and the ruins lie in his heart.

I would like to dedicate the poem to the people who have lost their lives this week in  Italy in a battle they did not know they were fighting against nature. It is not war, not the foreigner, not the migrant – but the land, the territory we have abused, and continue to abuse – that has become our greatest enemy.  – M.C.

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

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