Franz Kafka

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

"Lavandare" (Laundresses) by Giovanni Pascoli. English translation, with original Italian text. "Lavandare" (Laundresses) from the collection "Myricae" (1896)

Laundresses by a Stream, about 1885-90, Eugène Boudin

The following translation of "Lavandare" (Laundresses) 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!)  and also on Kobo.



In the field half black and half gray remains a plow without oxen that seems forgotten, in the steamy air.

As a cadence, from the irrigation ditch comes the washboard's swash of the laundresses with thick splashes and long lullabies:

The wind blows and the leaves fall like snow, and yet you have not returned to your home! since you departed, I have remained so!
like the plow amidst the fallow.


Nel campo mezzo grigio e mezzo nero resta un aratro senza buoi che pare dimenticato, tra il vapor leggero.

E cadenzato dalla gora viene
lo sciabordare delle lavandare
con tonfi spessi e lunghe cantilene:

Il vento soffia e nevica la frasca,
e tu non torni ancora al tuo paese! quando partisti, come son rimasta! come l’aratro in mezzo alla maggese.

From the collection “Myricae” (1891-1900)

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