Scendendo qualche volta
gli aridi greppi ormai
divisi dall’umoroso
Autunno che li gonfiava,
non m’era più in cuore la ruota
delle stagioni e il gocciare
del tempo inesorabile;
ma bene il presentimento
di te m’empiva l’anima,
sorpreso nell’ansimare
dell’aria, prima immota,
sulle rocce che orlavano il cammino.
Or, m’avvisavo, la pietra
voleva strapparsi, protesa
a un invisibile abbraccio;
la dura materia sentiva
il prossimo gorgo, e pulsava;
e i ciuffi delle avide canne
dicevano all’acque nascoste,
scrollando, un assentimento.
Tu vastità riscattavi
anche il patire dei sassi:
pel tuo tripudio era giusta
l’immobilità dei finiti.
Chinavo tra le petraie,
giungevano buffi salmastri
al cuore; era la tesa
del mare un giuoco di anella.
Con questa gioia precipita
dal chiuso vallotto alla spiaggia
la spersa pavoncella.

 

At times, climbing down
barren cliffs eroded
now and gorged
with autumn rains,
my heart no longer felt
the rhythm of the circling seasons,
the trickle of relentless time;
but the presentiment of you,
surprised in that heavy breathing
of air, before so still,
among the boulders bordering the path,
filled my soul.
Now, I thought, the very stone
was yearning to be free, to stretch
toward some invisible embrace;
hard matter intuited
the approaching gorge and quivered;
and the tufts of the reeds, eagerly
swaying, spoke assent
to the unseen waters.
O immensity, it was you, redeeming
even the stones in their suffering:
in your jubilation the fixity
of finite things was justified.
I was climbing down the scree.
Brackish winds came gusting
into my heart, the taut sea
was a game of quoits,
all gaiety, the joy
of the vagrant plover
mewed in the valley when she plummets
for the shore.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 11 Number 10, on page 39
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