Ora piena

Ada Negri

Ora mia, tutta mia, di solitudine
piena!… Dardeggia l’anima al suo vertice,
vermiglia come il sommo di quegli alberi
che il sol d’Ottobre, declinando, imporpora.
Fui dunque cieca sino a ieri?… I liberi
giochi dell’ombra e della luce, il ritmo
d’ogni forma terrena, le flessibili
grazie dei bimbi e delle donne, i rapidi
voli nel cielo di quell’auree frecce
che son gli uccelli, e l’anelar degli uomini
verso un lor segno, e l’acre ansia di gioja
e di potenza che a lottar li scaglia,
nulla io vidi sinora?… Alita e sfolgora
la vita bella, dentro e intorno a me!…
La vita è bella, anche se il cuore piange!…
Ov’è il torvo dolor che inconsolabile
ieri mi parve—e m’uncinava fibra
per fibra—ed io per isfuggirlo uccidermi
volevo?…—Forse in quel polverìo d’atomi
che in un raggio di sol purpurei danzano?…—
Serenamente or mi contemplo vivere:
ondeggia il ritmo del mio sangue al ritmo
dell’ore in terra, delle stelle in cielo:
carne son io che si fa luce ed aria,
puro elemento dell’eternità.
Ora piena

Ada Negri

Now mine, all mine, of solitude
full!…The soul darts to its vertex,
vermilion like the summits of those trees
that the October sun, declining, reddens.
So, was I blind ‘til yesterday?…The unbound
play of shade and light, the rhythm
of every terrestrial form, the lithe
graces of children and women, the rapid
flights in the sky of those golden arrows
that are the birds, and the endeavouring of men
towards an end, and the acrid anguish of joy
and of power that to strive presses them,
nothing did I notice ‘til now?…Breathes and blazes
the good life, inside and around me!…
Life is good, even if the heart sobs!…
Where is the surly pain that so inconsolable
seemed yesterday―and grasped me fibre
by fibre―and I to escape it to kill myself
wanted?…―In that pulverization of atoms
that in a ray of burgundy sun danced perhaps?…―
Serenely now I contemplate myself living:
the rhythm of my blood sways to the rhythm
of the hours on earth, of the stars in the sky:
flesh am I that becomes light and air,
pure element of eternity.


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2021

In a series of anastrophes that make us pause, that create the rhythm and give depth to the words, Ada Negri presents us with a hymn to life: “Serenely now I contemplate myself living…” she says. And in the contrasts that make up life, her soul is now full. Other poetic devices include repetition la vita bella/ la vita è bella), alliteration (verice vermiglia; l’ace ansia) and assonance (ov’è il torvo dolor che inconsolabile…).

Other poems by the author can be found here: https://paralleltexts.blog/tag/ada-negri/


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

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