Eugenio Montale


Country: Italy
Language(s): Italian
From Xenia

4.

We had studied for the afterlife
a sign of recognition, a whistle.
I’m trying to modulate it in the hope
that all of us are already dead without knowing it.

Translated from the Italian by Pattie Wells

From Xenia

5.

I never understood whether I
was your faithful and distempered dog,
or you mine. But not to others,
for them you were a myopic insect
lost in the twaddle of high society.
Those clever ingenious ones
did not know they
were your laughing stock:
you could see even in the darkness
and shock them with your infallible
sense of smell—and your bat’s radar.

Translated from the Italian by Pattie Wells

From Xenia

12.

Spring emerges with the pace of a mole.
Never again will I hear you talk of poisonous
antibiotics, of the nail in your femur,
or the patrimony plucked from  you.

Spring advances with its dense fog,  its long daylight and unbearable hours. No longer will I hear you wrestle with the backwash
of time, of ghosts, or the logistical problems  of summer.

Translated from the Italian by Pattie Wells