Franz Kafka

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Paese notturno" (Hamlet at Night) by Giovanni Pascoli. English translation, with original Italian text. "Paese notturno" (Hamlet at Night) from the collection "Myricae" (1891-1900)

The following translation of "Paese Notturno" ("Hamlet at Night") by Giovanni Pascoli is from the book "The Poems of Giovanni Pascoli: Translated in English, with Original Italian Text," published by LiteraryJoint Press (2017). Also available as Amazon ebook (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)  


The "weighing of the heart," from the book of the dead of Hunefer. Anubis is portrayed as both guiding the deceased forward and manipulating the scales, under the scrutiny of the ibis-headed Thoth.


Hamlet at Night 

Hubs, haystack poles, and trees to the moon
are they a worship temple to ancient Anubis(*),
or a gloomy ruin? The clouds cast a dark
shadow

on the countryside, and deeper and fuller,
on the strange rubble, the night is pressing,
hidden from sight, where a chained dog
is whining.

There on the horizon is the golden scythe:
little by little is painting two black spires,
from there, I know not what so pure white. Is it the white
front of a sphinx?

(*) Anubis: (Ancient Greek: Ἄνουβις) or Anpu is the Greek name of a god associated with mummification and the afterlife in ancient Egyptian religion, usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. 



Paese notturno


Capanne e stolli ed alberi alla luna
sono, od un tempio dell’antico Anubi,
fosca rovina? Stampano una bruna
                                        orma le nubi

su la campagna, e più profonda e piena
la notte preme le macerie strane,
chiuse allo sguardo, dove alla catena
                                        uggiola un cane.

Ecco la falce d’oro all’orizzonte:
due nere guglie a man a man dipinge,
indi non so che candido. Una fronte
                                        bianca di sfinge?

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