Franz Kafka

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Marina Tsvetaeva, Мари́на Ива́новна Цвета́ева, Poems, Those from the Factories, Zavodskie, English Translation

Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (Мари́на Ива́новна Цвета́ева;  1892 - 1941) was a Russian and Soviet poet.

Those from the factories, from 'Poems', by Marina Tzvetaeva

    They stand like working class gloominess
the bodies of factories, blackened with smoke.
Above the soot  shook their curls
the skies, moved to compassion.

Towards the smoky orphan-like loneliness of the inn,
smeared with grease, a hat  shuffles along.
The last hooter from the outskirts
howls demanding justice.

Hooter! Hooter! Of distraught foreheads
the ultimate scream: "we are still here, us!"
What a sense of death sentence
in this lament of the last hooters!

How bites their pitiful howling -
your satiation of velvet!
What a sense of being buried alive
and dragged to the slaughterhouse.

And God? Smoked till the forehead,
he doesn't intervene! We wait in vain!
Above the cots of the hospitals and the jails
he stands, pinned with tiny nails.
Tormented!  Living flesh!
And so it was and will be - till
the demise.
     Embankment for all songs
and of all despairs a nest:

factory! factory!  Because it's called
factory this black raise to fly.

To the the despair of the factory's hooter
pay heed - for it calls

the factory. And no intermediary

you will need any longer, when,
when above the last city
will bellow the last hooter.

Translated in English by Literary Joint

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Città vecchia, Old Town, by Umberto Saba, English Translation

A meditative walk back home through the old city's port of Trieste inspires this famous poem, sparking a reflection upon the existence of a multitude of men and women - and each own - and the closeness between all sentient beings facing a common struggle, life and destiny.

Old Town by Umberto Saba

Often, to go back to my house
I take an obscure alley in the old town.
Yellowy in some puddle is reflected 
a lamp, and crowded is the street. 

Here amongst the people that come and go
from the inn back home or to the brothel, 
where are goods and men the debris
of a great sea port, 
I discover, passing by, the infinite 
in humility. 

Here prostitute and seaman, the old man 
swearing, the female quarreling, 
the soldier who sits at the shop 
of the fried-food lad, 
the tumultuous young girl crazy
with love,
are all creatures of life
and of sufferance;
He stirs up within them, same as in me, our Lord.

Here, in the company of the humble I feel
my thought growing
purer where filthier is the way.

Translation by LiteraryJoint
Umberto Saba: the Collection of Poems. Umberto Saba's Poetry Translated in English. Umberto Saba: "Il Canzoniere" (The Songbook). Available as printed book on Amazon and as ebook on Amazon Kindle, Lulu, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Google Books and all major plarforms." style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;" target="_blank">Lulu. 

Original text in Italian:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Squadra paesana by Umberto Saba, (Soccer Poem, Trieste's City Team: Triestina Rosso Alabardati) English Translation

A simple experience - mingling with the crowd supporting the local soccer team (la Triestina) - blossoms into a wonderful poem, amongst the best known by Umberto Saba.

Soccer Team from Trieste, Triestina, 1930

City team, by Umberto Saba

Me too amongst the many I salute you, red-
from the native land, by all the people
In trepidation I follow your game.
you express with it ancient
marvelous things
on the green turf, in the open air, in the clear
wintry suns.

The anguishes
that whiten the hair all of a sudden,
are from you so far away! The glory
gives you a fleeting
smile: the best it can offer. Hugs
from one another, merry gestures.

Young are you all, for the mother alive;
the winds carries you in her defense. He loves you
for this reason too the poet, from the others
differently - equally moved.

Translated in English by LiteraryJoint
Available as e-book on Amazon Kindle, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch NOOK Book and on Lulu. 

Below, the last, unique appearance on video of the poet Umberto Saba, already as an old man, reading this poem during an interview with the Italian National Television.
Original text in Italian:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wait for me and I will be back, by Konstantin Simonov

Konstantin Simonov (Константин Михайлович Симонов), 28 Nov 1915– Aug 28, 1979, was a Soviet/Russian author

Wait for me and I will be back, Konstantin Simonov (1941)

Wait for me and I will be back,
but wait for me with all your strength.
Wait for me when the dreary yellow rains
inspire you sadness,
wait for me when the storm rages,
wait for me when it's hot,
when no longer await the others,
forgetting all that happened yesterday.
Wait for me when from far away places
will not come letters from me,
wait for me when others will have had enough
all the people that are waiting with you.

Wait for me and I will be back,
Doesn't wish well
to whom know by earth
that it is time to forget.
Let my son and my mother
believe that I no longer am,
and the friends grow tired of waiting
and, curled up by the fireplace,
drink bitter wine in memory of my soul...

Wait for me. And do not hasten
to drink with them.
Wait for me and I will be back
despite all the deaths.
And the one that quit waiting for me,
let him say that I have just been lucky.
Who did not wait cannot understand
how you saved me
from the midst of the fire
with your await.
Only you and I will know
how I could survive:
you simply were able to wait for me
as nobody else.

Translation in English by LiteraryJoint
Original text in Russian:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ada Negri, La Danza della Neve, The Snow's Dance, English Translation

Ada Negri (February 3, 1870 – January 11, 1945) was an Italian poet and writer.

The Snow's dance, by Ada Negri


Upon the fields and the streets
silent and lightless
twirling, the snow

The white flake dances
cheerfully in the wide sky,
then on the ground lands

In thousands still shapes
on the roofs and chimneys,
on the boundary stones and gardens

All around is peace;
shut in profound oblivion,
the indifferent world

Translation in English by LiteraryJoint

Original text in Italian: 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Snow, a Short Poem

As we dwell on the wintry theme of snow, here's yet another brief poem inspired by it. As dormant memories intertwine with wistful oblivion, the entangled soul, suspended in time, is appeased.    

The Snowstorm, by Abraham Teerlink (1776-1857), Dutch

The Snow

The snow falls relentlessly, impalpable,
light butterflies land on my heart.

As they wings flutter,
my window turns opaque.

In the end, I am ten years of age,
as the snow relentlessly falls.

From "Jersey Blues: Selected Poems", also available on iBookstore, NOOK Book, and Amazon Kindle. Copyright © 2013 LiteraryJoint by Alessandro Baruffi. All rights reserved.