Franz Kafka

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

A few words on "Mowing" by Robert Frost. Original text in English and translation in Italian (Mowing, Falciando l'Erba, by Robert Frost)

The Scythers, N.C. Wyeth, oil on canvas 1908

A highly evocative poem whereby an everyday experience—a mid-Summer day, cutting grass with a long scythe—recalls secretive, inexplicable meanings. Life and death alike beckon from a distance; the role of poetry, the actuality of living, the consciousness of the dreadful boundaries of existence— they all cast their long shadows on the poet's swale and its hay left to make.


There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make. 

From "West-Running Brooks", Robert Frost, 1928

Falciando l'erba

Non c'era mai altro suono accanto al bosco che uno,
Ed era la mia lunga falce che sussurrava alla terra.
Che cosa sussurrava esattamente? Non lo sapevo bene nemmeno io;
Forse era qualcosa a proposito della calura del sole,
Qualcosa, forse, circa l'assenza di suono—
Ed era per questo che sussurrava e non parlava.
Non era il sogno del dono di ore oziose,
O l'oro facile nelle mani di fata o elfo:
Ogni cosa oltre la verità sarebbe parsa troppo debole
All'amore sincero che deponeva le erbe a file,
Non senza i gambi flebilmente appuntiti dei fiori
(Pallide orchidi), e una spaventata serpe di verde brillante.
La realtà è il più dolce sogno che il lavoro conosca.
La mia lunga falce sussurrava e lasciava che si facesse il fieno.

da "West-Running Brooks", Robert Frost, 1928
Versione in Italiano a cura di LiteraryJoint


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