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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fanciulli allo Stadio, Children at the Soccer Stadium, by Umberto Saba, English Translation

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  

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