Franz Kafka

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Idillio," by Vincenzo Cardarelli; "Idyll," by Vincenzo Cardarelli, English version, translated in English by LiteraryJoint

Vincent van Gogh, "Vineyards with a View of Auvers", oil on canvas, June 1890. The Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, USA.


Through a shaded dirt track
between two walls of rusty stones
from which sunbathed grape leaves
sprouted up,
I saw one day, in Liguria,
(oh unexpected encounter!)
a young country girl
standing upright on the edge of her vineyard. 
Solitary was the path,
ardent the time of the day. 
She looked at me, and smiled,
the lassie.
And I told her, drawing near,
words that I heard rising
from the blood,
from my whole being, in praise
of her beauty.
Beneath the blush of her face beaded
with perspiration from her paused toil
her mouth was laughing brightly.
She was barefoot. A chip
of golden clay
dressed her feet accustomed to daily
bathing at the spring.
Her eyes, fiery and shiny,
were glimmering with youth,
shiny and profound.
And behind her, so earthy and splendid,
the well known and trusty shades
of the familiar grape tree
seemed to watch over her.
All was peace around
and rustic silence.

By Vincenzo Cardarelli, from the collection "Poesie," 1949. 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.


Per una stradetta ombreggiata
fra due muri di pietre rugginose
da cui spuntavano pampani
vidi un giorno, in Liguria,
(oh incontro inatteso!)
una giovane contadina
ritta sul limite del suo vigneto.
Era la via romita,
l'ora estuosa.
Mi guardò, mi sorrise,
la villanella.
Ed io le dissi, accostandomi,
parole che udivo salire
dal sangue,
da tutto il mio essere, in lode
di sua bellezza.
Sotto il rossore del volto imperlato
dall'interrotta fatica
la bocca sua rideva luminosa.
Era scalza. Una scaglia
d'argilla dorata
rivestiva i suoi piedi usi ai diurni
lavacri della fonte.
Gli occhi, infocati e lustri,
di gioventù brillavano,
solare e profonda.
E dietro a lei, così terrosa e splendida,
l'ombre cognite e fide
della domestica vite
parevan vigilarla.
Tutto era pace intorno
e silenzio agreste.

Monday, August 17, 2015

"Attesa," by Vincenzo Cardarelli; "Awaiting," by Vincenzo Cardarelli, English version, translated in English

Lady from the Sea, by Edvard Munch, 1896, Philadelphia Museum of Art


Today that I was waiting, you did not come.
And I know what your absence says, 
your absence was a tumultuous whirl,  
in the emptiness you left behind,
like a star.
It says that you will not love me.
Like a Summer storm
that announces itself then recedes,
similarly you denied yourself to my thirst.
Love, when is born, has such sudden
Silently we understood each other.
Love, Love, as always,
I would offer you flowers and curses. 

By Vincenzo Cardarelli, from the collection "Poesie," 1949. 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.



Oggi che t'aspettavo non sei venuta.
E la tua assenza so quel che mi dice,
la tua assenza che tumultuava,
nel vuoto che hai lasciato,
come una stella.
Dice che non vuoi amarmi.
Quale un estivo temporale
S'annuncia e poi s'allontana,
così ti sei negata alla mia sete.
L'amore, sul nascere, ha di quest'improvvisi
Silenziosamente ci siamo intesi.
Amore, Amore, come sempre,
vorrei coprirti di fiori e d'insulti.

Vincenzo Cardarelli, dalla raccolta "Poesie," 1949.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"An Actor's End," by Anton Chekhov, from the Collection: "The Horse Stealer and Other Stories," by Anton Chekhov (Анто́н Па́влович Че́хов), Translated in English by Constance Garnett. Full text in English

Anton Pavlovich (Russian: Chekhov Анто́н Па́влович Че́хов)


SHTCHIPTSOV, the "heavy father" and "good-hearted simpleton," a tall and thick-set old man, not so much distinguished by his talents as an actor as by his exceptional physical strength, had a desperate quarrel with the manager during the performance, and just when the storm of words was at its height felt as though something had snapped in his chest. Zhukov, the manager, as a rule began at the end of every heated discussion to laugh hysterically and to fall into a swoon; on this occasion, however, Shtchiptsov did not remain for this climax, but hurried home. The high words and the sensation of something ruptured in his chest so agitated him as he left the theatre that he forgot to wash off his paint, and did nothing but take off his beard.
When he reached his hotel room, Shtchiptsov spent a long time pacing up and down, then sat down on the bed, propped his head on his fists, and sank into thought. He sat like that without stirring or uttering a sound till two o'clock the next afternoon, when Sigaev, the comic man, walked into his room.
"Why is it you did not come to the rehearsal, Booby Ivanitch?" the comic man began, panting and filling the room with fumes of vodka. "Where have you been?"
Shtchiptsov made no answer, but simply stared at the comic man with lustreless eyes, under which there were smudges of paint.
"You might at least have washed your phiz!" Sigaev went on. "You are a disgraceful sight! Have you been boozing, or . . . are you ill, or what? But why don't you speak? I am asking you: are you ill?"
Shtchiptsov did not speak. In spite of the paint on his face, the comic man could not help noticing his striking pallor, the drops of sweat on his forehead, and the twitching of his lips. His hands and feet were trembling too, and the whole huge figure of the "good-natured simpleton" looked somehow crushed and flattened. The comic man took a rapid glance round the room, but saw neither bottle nor flask nor any other suspicious vessel.
"I say, Mishutka, you know you are ill!" he said in a flutter.
"Strike me dead, you are ill! You don't look yourself!"
Shtchiptsov remained silent and stared disconsolately at the floor.
"You must have caught cold," said Sigaev, taking him by the hand.
"Oh, dear, how hot your hands are! What's the trouble?"
"I wa-ant to go home," muttered Shtchiptsov.
"But you are at home now, aren't you?"
"No. . . . To Vyazma. . . ."
"Oh, my, anywhere else! It would take you three years to get to your Vyazma. . . . What? do you want to go and see your daddy and mummy? I'll be bound, they've kicked the bucket years ago, and you won't find their graves. . . ."
"My ho-ome's there."
"Come, it's no good giving way to the dismal dumps. These neurotic feelings are the limit, old man. You must get well, for you have to play Mitka in 'The Terrible Tsar' to-morrow. There is nobody else to do it. Drink something hot and take some castor-oil? Have you got the money for some castor-oil? Or, stay, I'll run and buy some."
The comic man fumbled in his pockets, found a fifteen-kopeck piece, and ran to the chemist's. A quarter of an hour later he came back.
"Come, drink it," he said, holding the bottle to the "heavy father's" mouth. "Drink it straight out of the bottle. . . . All at a go! That's the way. . . . Now nibble at a clove that your very soul mayn't stink of the filthy stuff."
The comic man sat a little longer with his sick friend, then kissed him tenderly, and went away. Towards evening the jeune premier, Brama-Glinsky, ran in to see Shtchiptsov. The gifted actor was wearing a pair of prunella boots, had a glove on his left hand, was smoking a cigar, and even smelt of heliotrope, yet nevertheless he strongly suggested a traveller cast away in some land in which there were neither baths nor laundresses nor tailors. . . .
"I hear you are ill?" he said to Shtchiptsov, twirling round on his heel. "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you, really? . . ."
Shtchiptsov did not speak nor stir.
"Why don't you speak? Do you feel giddy? Oh well, don't talk, I won't pester you . . . don't talk. . . ."
Brama-Glinsky (that was his stage name, in his passport he was called Guskov) walked away to the window, put his hands in his pockets, and fell to gazing into the street. Before his eyes stretched an immense waste, bounded by a grey fence beside which ran a perfect forest of last year's burdocks. Beyond the waste ground was a dark, deserted factory, with windows boarded up. A belated jackdaw was flying round the chimney. This dreary, lifeless scene was beginning to be veiled in the dusk of evening.
"I must go home!" the jeune premier heard.
"Where is home?"
"To Vyazma . . . to my home. . . ."
"It is a thousand miles to Vyazma . . . my boy," sighed Brama-Glinsky, drumming on the window-pane. "And what do you want to go to Vyazma for?"
"I want to die there."
"What next! Now he's dying! He has fallen ill for the first time in his life, and already he fancies that his last hour is come. . . . No, my boy, no cholera will carry off a buffalo like you. You'll live to be a hundred. . . . Where's the pain?"
"There's no pain, but I . . . feel . . ."