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Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Tredicesima partita", poems about soccer, by Umberto Saba, English Translation, Thirteenth game

Portrait of poet Umberto Saba

The poet finds himself within a small group of spectators at a soccer game, numb with cold, as the sun sets on the pitch and the players; the iridescent intricacies of colors of the fleeting day that comes to an end suggest a metaphorical sundial, a bitter premonition that only a sentiment of human brotherhood may withstand.   



Thirteenth Game

On the stands a small group
tried to keep itself warm.
And when
- bound-less irradiation - the sun extinguished 
behind a house its blaze, the field
made brighter the presentiment of the night.
Up and down ran the red jerseys,
the white jerseys, under a light of
strange iridescent transparency. The wind
deflected the foot-ball, the Goddess of Fortune
blinded yet again her eyes.
So pleasant
being such a few, numb with cold,

like the last men on a mountain,
to watch from up there the last game.

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:

Tredicesima partita

Sui gradini un manipolo sparuto
si riscaldava di se stesso.
E quando
- smisurata raggiera - il sole spense
dietro una casa il suo barbaglio, il campo
schiarì il presentimento della notte.
Correvano sue e giù le maglie rosse,
le maglie bianche, in una luce d’una
strana iridata trasparenza. Il vento
deviava il pallone, la Fortuna
si rimetteva agli occhi la benda.
essere così pochi intirizziti
come ultimi uomini su un monte,
a guardare di là l’ultima gara.

da "Il canzoniere" 1933

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