This poem concludes our presentation of "Five poems for the game of soccer", by Umberto Saba: "Children at the soccer stadium", a delicate lyric bringing back reminiscences of the merriment of youth, shadowed by the obscure premonition of corruption brought along by adult life.
Umberto Saba (1883 – 1957) was an Italian poet and novelist
Children at the soccer stadium
A spring rooster
is the voice of a child; fanciful romances
by that, and torments, it sharply cuts.
On the borders of the pitch a flag
waves solitary on a low wall.
On which, standing up, at each break, competing,
the children gave out dear names,
one by one, like arrows. It lives
within me the lovely scene; to a memory
it marries - in the evening - from my beardless days.
Unpleasant in their haughtiness
the players passed by, right there.
They would see everything, but those little ones.
Translated by LiteraryJoint
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Original text in Italian:
Fanciulli allo stadio
è alla voce il fanciullo; estrosi amori
con quella, e crucci, acutamente incide.
Ai confini del campo una bandiera
sventola solitaria su un muretto.
Su quello alzati, nei riposi, a gara
cari nomi lanciavano i fanciulli,
ad uno ad uno, come frecce. Vive
in me l’immagine lieta; a un ricordo
si sposa - a sera - dei miei giorni imberbi.
Odiosi di tanto eran superbi
passavano là sotto i calciatori.
Tutto vedevano, e non quegli acerbi.
da "Il canzoniere" ,1933-34