Franz Kafka

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Monday, October 7, 2019

"Il bove" (The Ox) by Giovanni Pascoli, from the collection "Myricae" (1891)

Cart with Black Ox, or The Ox-Cart (1884) by Vincent van Gogh

The Ox

Through vague haze, at the thin river
looks the ox, with big eyes: in the pasture
that recedes, to an ever-farther sea
run the waters of a cerulean river;

they magnify in his eyes, in the dust of
the light, the willow and the alder;
on the grass a herd of sheep passes by little by little
and it seems the herd of the ancient God:

wide wings conjure up rapacious sketches
in the air; silent chimeras float,
similar to clouds, in the deep heavens;

the immense sun behind the mountains
sets, tremendously high: they already grow,  black,
the greater shadows of greater worlds.

Il Bove

Al rio sottile, di tra vaghe brume,
guarda il bove, coi grandi occhi: nel piano
che fugge, a un mare sempre più lontano
migrano l’acque d’un ceruleo fiume;

ingigantisce agli occhi suoi, nel lume
pulverulento, il salice e l’ontano;
svaria su l’erbe un gregge a mano a mano,
e par la mandra dell’antico nume:

ampie ali aprono imagini grifagne
nell’aria; vanno tacite chimere,
simili a nubi, per il ciel profondo;

il sole immenso, dietro le montagne
cala, altissime: crescono già, nere,
l’ombre più grandi d’un più grande mondo.

From the collection “Myricae” (1891-1900)

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