Franz Kafka

Saturday, November 23, 2013

'Arch Street', a Poem from the collection 'Jersey Blues'

Arch Street, Philadelphia (West from Broad St.), by James Cremer, 1821-1893


Arch Street

How fervent with life is the ephemeral city:
effervescent lives, yet doomed,
so precarious that, if only
awakened, the wind could easily push
aside, shuffling faces and destinies,
on an idle Saturday’s mid-Summer noon.
The sidewalks of China Town,
the alleys, the workshops, the odorous walls,
holding us to their ancient womb;
the fleeting hug of a mother,
already sunk into oblivion, to the
rascal lost on the street.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 2005 

From "Jersey Blues: Selected Poems", also available on Amazon KindleiBookstore and NOOK Book.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"The Road not Taken," by Robert Frost, Italian version, translated by LiteraryJoint

Mountain Interval, First edition, Publisher Henry Holt, 1920

La strada non presa

Due strade divergevano in un giallo bosco,
E dispiaciuto di non poter percorrerle entrambe
E viaggiando da solo, rimasi lì lungamente
E scrutai l'una più che potei
Fin laddove girava nella boscaglia;

Allora presi l'altra, che tanto valeva
E aveva magari più fascino,
Perché era erbosa e chiedeva di esser percorsa;
Sebbene per tanto così il passarvi
Le aveva consumate entrambe pressapoco lo stesso,

E tutte e due quel mattino ugualmente giacevano
In foglie che nessun calpestio di passi aveva annerito.
Ah, tenni la prima per un altro giorno.
Ma sapendo bene come una via conduce ad altra via,
Dubitavo che vi sarei mai tornato.

Dovrei raccontarlo con un sospiro
Da qualche parte tante e tante stagioni or sono:
Due vie divergevano in un bosco, ed io—
Io presi quella meno percorsa,
E ciò fece tutta la differenza.

Robert Frost, dalla raccolta "Mountain Interval", 1920.

Versione in italiano a cura di LiteraryJoint.

The Road not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by Robert Frost, from the collection "Mountain Interval", 1920.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paesaggio Notturno, Night Landscape, by Vincenzo Cardarelli, English version

Starry Night, by Edvard Munch, 1893,  The J. Paul Getty Museum

Night Landscape

It lies up there my childhood.
There upon that hill
that I see again at night,
passing by on the railway,
marked by bright lights.
Smell of burnt stubble
strikes me at the station.
Ancient and diffuse smell
similar to many voices calling me.
But the train flees. I go, not knowing where.
My company is a friend
who is not even awake.
No one thinks or guesses
what it means to me
this motherly land which I overfly
like a stranger, like a betrayer.

by Vincenzo Cardarelli, from the collection "Prologhi", 1916
From "Vincenzo Cardarelli: The Forgotten amongst the Great. A Collection of the Best Poems by Vincenzo Cardarelli, Translated in English," available as e-book on Amazon Kindle, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touchon NOOK Bookon Koboand as printed, traditional edition through Lulu.

Paesaggio notturno

Giace lassù la mia infanzia.
Lassù in quella collina
ch’io riveggo di notte,
passando in ferrovia,
segnata di vive luci.
Odor di stoppie bruciate
m’investe alla stazione.
Antico e sparso odore
simile a molte voci che mi chiamino.
Ma il treno fugge. Io vo non so dove.
M’è compagno un amico
che non si desta neppure.
Nessuno pensa o immagina
che cosa sia per me
questa materna terra ch’io sorvolo
come un ignoto, come un traditore. 

Vincenzo Cardarelli, dalla raccolta "Prologhi", 1916

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jersey Blues, Selected Poems, from the Garden State of New Jersey

New Jersey's State Seal

A foreword from the author:

    In my many years in America, like a pilgrim, or a spiritual vagrant, crisscrossing the country—always rolling on the very fabric of the continent: westwards and eastwards, to the eternal oceans, and from the northern vast plains down through the Appalachian, to the deep recesses of the lowlands, to the swamps—infallibly enough, I would always return to my dwelling in Princeton. 
    Many a time the lonely night was devoted to the contemplation of the moon of New Jersey, as I licked the wounds of a sore soul. I always wondered, how different that pale, ghostly circle of a moon was, from the one I encountered elsewhere above the magnificent land that I had been scampering about, and from the lost moon of my childhood.
    Yet, with adulthood—or maturity—seeing at last the rise and fall of earthling matters, I would flinch, my heart recoiling, as from something unpleasant. Thus, through the jaundiced, estranged buoy in the sky, I would recall past memories, and hold out my quivering hand to reach over to the always-receding mysteries of existence. These are, in essence, my "Jersey Blues."

"Jersey Blues: Selected Poems", also available on iBookstore, NOOK Book, and Amazon Kindle.