Franz Kafka

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Giuseppe Ungaretti "The Rivers" (I Fiumi), English translation. Giuseppe Ungaretti, the Master of Hermeticism, Translated in English


Picture of the poet Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888 - 1970)


The most comprehensive English translation of the work of Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888 – 1970,) the leading representative of the experimental literary movement called Hermeticism, or Hermetic poetry. This edition includes poems from all of his major collections: "Porto Sepolto (1916,) “L'allegria di naufragi” (1919,)"L'allegria" (1931,) “Sentimento del tempo” (1933,) and "Il dolore," (1947.)
Available as ebook as Amazon Kindle and Kobo.


The Rivers (I Fiumi)

 
I hold onto this tree that is mutilated
Abandoned in this sinkhole (*)
Which has the languor
Of a circus
Before or after the show
And look
The quite passing
Of the clouds on the moon

This morning I lay down
In an urn of water
And like a relic
I rested

The river Isonzo flowing
Polished me
Like one of its stones
I pulled up my poor bones
And there I went
Like an acrobat
On the water 

I crouched down

Next to my clothes
Filthy with war
And like a Bedouin
I stooped to receive
The sun


This is the Isonzo
And here better
I recognized myself
A docile fiber
Of the universe

My torment
Is when
I feel I’m not
In harmony

But those occult
Hands
That I’m soaked with
Grant me
The rare
Happiness

I observed again
The epochs
Of my life

These are
My rivers

This is the Serchio
From which have drawn water
Over two thousands years perhaps
My own farmer ancestors
And my father and my mother

This is the Nile
Which saw me
Being born and grow
And burn with unawareness
In the expanded plains

This is the Seine
And in its muddiness
I have stirred up
And got to know myself

These are my rivers
Counted in the Isonzo

This is my melancholy
That in each one
Shines through
Now that the night fell
And that my life appears to me
A corolla
Of gloom


(*) In Italian “dolina,” a cavity in the ground, especially in a limestone formation, caused by water erosion and providing a route for surface water to disappear underground.

Cotici, 16th of August 1916, from the collection “L'Allegria,” 1931.

The most comprehensive English translation of the work of Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888 – 1970,) the leading representative of the experimental literary movement called Hermeticism, or Hermetic poetry. This edition includes poems from all of his major collections: "Porto Sepolto (1916,) “L'allegria di naufragi” (1919,)"L'allegria" (1931,) “Sentimento del tempo” (1933,) and "Il dolore," (1947.)
Available as ebook as Amazon Kindle and Kobo.





 

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