Franz Kafka

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tre momenti, Three moments (soccer poem, Triestina), by Umberto Saba, English Translation

The sudden capture of few trivial scenes from a foot-ball game triggers a broader reflection upon existence, and the sentiment of beautiful, fleeting youth and lightheartedness.

Three moments

After running to the center of the turf, you offer
first your salute towards the stands.
Afterwards, what is born after,
that to the other side you turn, to the one
even so black that throngs, is not
a thing to be said, or that has a name.

The goal-keeper treads up and down like a sentry.
The danger is far still.
Yet if in a stormy cloud it closes in, oh then
a young wild beast crouches down
and on the alert spies on.

Merriment is in the air, merriment in every street.
If short-lived, what matters?
No offense crossed the goal line,
shouts crisscrossed like thunderbolts.
With your glory, eleven young lads,
a river-like of love embellishes Trieste.

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

Original text in Italian:

Tre momenti

Di corsa usciti a mezzo il campo, date
prima il saluto alle tribune.
Poi, quello che nasce poi,
che all’altra parte rivolgete, a quella
che più nera si accalca, non è cosa
da dirsi, non è cosa ch’abbia un nome.

Il portiere su e giù cammina come sentinella.
Il pericolo lontano è ancora.
Ma se in un nembo s’avvicina, oh allora
una giovane fiera si accovaccia
e all’erta spia.

Festa è nell’aria, festa in ogni via.
Se per poco, che importa?
Nessuna offesa varcava la porta,
s’incrociavano grida ch’eran razzi.
La vostra gloria, undici ragazzi,
come un fiume d’amore orna Trieste. 

da "Il canzoniere" 1933

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