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English
Italian
IL PLATANO UCCISO  

Ada Negri  

Tant’oro io non avea giammai veduto
splendere sotto cosí tersi cieli:
oro di pioppi, chiaro: oro di faggi,
piú rosso; e accesa ruggine di querce.
Ogni albero a se stesso era corona;
e il piover lento delle foglie morte
tesseva e ritesseva oro sull’erbe.
Sol, fra quella biondezza, verdeggiante
qualche platano ancóra; e della vite
vergine i tralci, pènduli alle siepi,
come da vene zampillavan sangue.
Giorno senz’ombra e senza peso, forse
senza termine: giorno di perdono
e d’incantata purità, concesso
da Dio Signore agli uomini, alla terra.
Ma un sordo schianto mi strappò dal sogno,
percotendomi il petto; e, poi che gli occhi
volsi repente, al margine del prato
vidi un platano eccelso piombar giú.
Piombò disteso, rigido, tra sciami
di foglie secche. Col suo tonfo greve
empí di sé lo spazio, che negli echi
piú fondi ne vibrò: poi fu silenzio.
Cosí bello! Perché? C’era qualcuno
laggiú. C’era il suo boia, indifferente,
dietro la base mozza. Ma non serve
chieder perché. Né il tristo crollo offese
l’innocenza del giorno. Oro di sole,
oro di fronde, immensità d’azzurro
sopra l’albero morto, e sopra i vivi.
Allora mi tornò nella memoria
l’uomo. Quello. Da tanti anni caduto
cosí, nel suo vigor: cosí, di schianto,
come il platano. Quello: col suo duro
volto e il gran corpo; ma cogli occhi chiusi;
e riveniva a me da lontananze
smisurate dell’anima, dai mondi
oscuri ove il ricordo par che dorma.
Con gli occhi chiusi mi fissò: mi disse
con chiuse labbra: – Tanto tempo dunque
camminato hai nel mondo, senza me? –
Ed io sentíi che nulla piú la vita
darmi poteva: nulla io piú poteva
se non cadere, in quel ricordo, accanto
al grande ucciso, tra le foglie secche.
THE SLAIN PLANE TREE  

Ada Negri  

So much gold I had never seen before
glimmering under such clear skies:
gold of poplars, fair: gold of beech,
redder; and the bright rust of oaks.
Every tree in itself was crown;
and the slow falling of dead leaves
laced and interlaced golden on the grass.
Alone, among that blondness, some plane trees
verdant still; and of virgin
vine the shoots, pendulous on hedges,
like from veins gushed blood.
Day without shade and without weight, perhaps
without end: day of forgiveness
and enchanted purity, bestowed
by the Lord God upon men, upon the earth.
But a loud crash roused me from my dream,
shaking my breast; and, as my eyes
I quickly turned to the edge of the lawn,
I saw a towering plane tree plummet down.
It plummeted, lying rigid, among swarms
of dry leaves. With its heavy thud
by itself it filled the space, within its deepest
echoes it vibrated: then all was silent.
So beautiful! Why? There was someone
down there. Its assassin was there, indifferent,
behind the stub base. But it’s of no use
to ask why. Nor did the sad fall offend
the innocence of the day. Gold of sun,
gold of foliage, immensity of azure
above the dead tree, and above those alive.
Then my memory went to the
man. That man. Who for so many years had fallen
thus, in his vigour; thus, with a crash,
like the plane tree. That man: with his hard
face and great body; but with his eyes closed;
and he came to me from the farthest
recesses of my soul, from worlds
dark where memory seems to doze.
With eyes closed he stared at me: he said
with closed lips:-So, you have walked for
long years the world, without me?-
And I felt that nothing more could life
give me: nothing more could I do
if not fall, in that memory, near
the great slain thing, among the dry leaves.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2021

The poem if from the collection Il dono (The gift) by Ada Negri. – Milano : A. Mondadori, 1936.

To enjoy more works by Ada Negri: https://www.mondadoristore.it/Poesie-e-prose-Ada-Negri/eai978880472294/?utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=listing&utm_campaign=cpc&gclid=CjwKCAjwgviIBhBkEiwA10D2j5iVixTH-aC6sM-dwDm2Bl4JTcNMmwL8rEvB7JUbUaDs2PO7_djfHRoCgnUQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds


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

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