Franz Kafka

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Felicità raggiunta" (Happiness is Achieved) by Eugenio Montale, English Translation by

Vincent van Gogh's "The Olive Trees". Saint Rémy, June-July 1889. Oil on canvas, Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest

Happiness is achieved, walking
for you on a blade's hedge.
To our eyes, you are a glimmer that flickers,
afoot, stretched ice that cracks;
and therefore shall not touch you who loves you most.

If you reach upon souls pervaded
by sadness and brighten them, your morning
is sweet and unsettling like bird nests on high.
Yet nothing comforts the cry of a kid
whose balloon slips away among the houses.

From the collection "Ossi di seppia," 1925

Translation in English by LiteraryJoint, Copyright ©

          Original Italian version: 

Felicità raggiunta, si cammina
per te sul fil di lama.
Agli occhi sei barlume che vacilla,
al piede, teso ghiaccio che s'incrina;
e dunque non ti tocchi chi più t'ama.

Se giungi sulle anime invase
di tristezza e le schiari, il tuo mattino
è dolce e turbatore come i nidi delle cimase.
Ma nulla paga il pianto di un bambino
a cui fugge il pallone tra le case.

          From the collection "Ossi di seppia," 1925

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