Franz Kafka

Follow by Email

Monday, February 11, 2013

Goal, by Umberto Saba, English Translation

The goal-keeper fallen in the vain
last defense...(Umberto Saba)
As we continue to present the series of poems that Umberto Saba dedicated to foot-ball, here is the well-known "Goal", in which the poet is a watchful spectator of the game, and witness of its inner secrets.


Goal, by Umberto Saba

The goal-keeper fallen in the vain
last defense, against the ground hides
his face, as not to see the bitter light.
His knelt team-mate, urging him
with words and gesture to stand back up,
sees eyes filled with tears.

The crowd - united in its thrill - seems to brim over
to the field.  Circled the winner,
his brothers throw themselves to his neck.
Few are moments as wonderful as this,
to whom, burnt by hatred, love
is given, under the sky, to see.

Nearby the unviolated goal the keeper
- the other one - has remained. But not his soul,
with the body that found itself alone.
His joy turns into a somersault,
into kisses that he sends from afar.
Of this merriment - he says - I am part too.

English translation by LiteraryJoint
Available as e-book on Amazon Kindle, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch NOOK Book and on Lulu. 

Original text in Italian:

Goal, di Umberto Saba

Il portiere caduto alla difesa
ultima vana, contro terra cela
la faccia, a non veder l’amara luce.
Il compagno in ginocchio che l’induce
con parole e con mano, a rilevarsi,
scopre pieni di lacrime i suoi occhi.

La folla - unita ebrezza - par trabocchi
nel campo. Intorno al vincitore stanno,
al suo collo si gettano i fratelli.
Pochi momenti come questo belli,
a quanti l’odio consuma e l’amore,
è dato, sotto il cielo, di vedere.

Presso la rete inviolata il portiere
- l’altro - è rimasto. Ma non la sua anima,
con la persona vi è rimasta sola.
La sua gioia si fa una capriola,
si fa baci che manda di lontano.
Della festa - egli dice - anch’io son parte.

da "Il canzoniere" 1933


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Check out the author's bookstore to browse and purchase both printed and e-book editions!