Giorgio Caproni said his poetry was “in shirt sleeves” until, after editing, it wore a jacket. But whether in shirt sleeves or jacket, it is an extraordinary thing of complex simplicity.

Oh cari  

Apparivano tutti
in trasparenza.
in anima.
nell’imprescindibile essenza

                   Ma vivi

     Vivi dentro la morte
come i morti son vivi
nella vita.

di contarli.

                               Il numero
si perdeva nel vuoto
come nel vento il numero
delle foglie.

                              Oh cari.
Oh odiosi.

d’amore e di rabbia.

alla mia mente accecata.

Chiusi la finestra.

                            Il cuore.

La porta.

                           A doppia mandata.
Oh dear ones

   They appeared all
in transparency.
in heart.
in the indispensable essence
Of the shadow.
                                    But alive

      Alive within death
like the dead are alive
in life.

                            I tried
to count them.

                                The number
was lost in the emptiness
like in the wind the number
of the leaves.  

                        Oh dear ones.
Oh odious ones.

                            I wept
with love and with anger.

                                  I thought
of my blinded mind.  

I closed the window.

                      My heart.  

My door.

                      Double locked.    

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2022

Poetry is what we feel in the moment we read it: Caproni was talking of himself, of his past lives; as I translate, I think of others, those living far away and those lost forever.

For my father.

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