Franz Kafka

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Vagito (Baby Wailing), by Giovanni Pascoli - Myricae (1891)

The following translation of "Vagito" ("Baby Wailing") 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  on Kobo.

Baby Wailing

Mummy...white on the bed that is white
you sleep. Who was that on your face composed
that satisfied sorrow and that tired smile?

You sleep: around the languid pillows
all is turning white. Around you all things
make small hushing signs.

And all turns into a dawn and all is silent. Is this
the purpose, is this the beginning of a rite?
Through a silence of white laces 
speaks the mystery in a baby wailing sound.

From the collection "Myricae" (1891), by Giovanni Pascoli.


Mammina... bianca sopra il letto bianco
tu dormi. Chi sul volto ti compose
quel dolor pago e quel sorriso stanco?

Tu dormi: intorno al languido origliere
tutto biancheggia. Intorno a te le cose
fanno piccoli cenni di tacere.

E tutto albeggia e tutto tace. Il fine
è questo, è questo il cominciar d’un rito?
Di tra un silenzio candido di trine
parla il mistero in suono di vagito.

From the collection "Myricae" (1891), by Giovanni Pascoli.

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