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Stella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattiva

I am here  , sitting on a carpet

 

of   leaves and spring blossoms,

 

 

and my silence is a prayer,

 

with me I have wine and  a goblet.

 

 

If only my Beloved were near me,

 

if her shining mouth were here!

 

 

The scent of her kisses

 

is sweeter than jasmine.

 

 

They say I am wise

 

because I know all of God’s words

 

 

and I know that his face is invisible

 

though He bestows purple and fire

 

 

on all the rose bushes.

 

But  I  am wise because I drink, I gamble,

 

 

I sing while time ravages us.

 

How many roses will open this morning

 

 

and how many more will fall tomorrow

 

or wither under the gusts

 

 

of the hurricanes! Time makes us brother -

 

we who move under the same sky.

 

 

Isn’t  it the same  for us all

 

that moon that looks like a pomegranate

 

 

slowly detaching from its branch?

 

But I am wise because I love.

 

 

(Translation  by Laura Anna Stortoni, from Canti d’Oriente e d’Occidente)

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Stella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattiva

Goodness, then, is the flowers, the trees,

 

our arms open, wide, the kisses, the rivers,

 

the salmon swimming upstream, the rain,

 

the dawn and the spring, the wind

 

 

and the seed.

 

 

Goodness is when we feel at our feet

 

the morning and the evening star,

 

when we feel anemones in the place of our hands,

 

when we want all things to unite

 

 

and to love each other.

 

 

For us who have known the drought,

 

the desert sky, the torrent beds

 

drier than carcasses, the souls

 

immured within the bodies –there is no other

 

 

goodness that counts.

 

 

(Translation by Anna Laura Stortoni, from Dialogo del poeta  e del messaggero)

 

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Stella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattivaStella inattiva

It’s as you say, I should leave again.

I’ve never be happy in a house.

I’ve never be happy in a family.

I’ve never felt homesick  when I was

alone and far away. For me, all the wonder

of  the world was the promenade

by the sea, when, school book in my satchel,

I walked fast and breathed in

wind the colour of salt and agave.

I pretended to have my hand

in a girl’s hand, the wonder, the strong race

of dreams, the books, the movies,

the long train rides,

the log crossing of the soul

but never the walls of a house, never.

 

(translation by Laura Anna Stortoni, from Dialogo del poeta  e del messaggero)

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Stella attivaStella attivaStella attivaStella attivaStella attiva

I did not know  what a poet was

 

when I used to drive chariots to war

 

and the horse Xantos talked me.

 

But like a comet  the youthful age

 

 

Of Hector and Achilles has gone by.

 

I become nothing but a man:

 

now my soul looks for itself in the water

 

and in the fire, and in the thousand

 

 

families of flowers and trees,

 

in the heroes that I am not,

 

in the garden where all the pain

 

 

of being born an dying is so light.

 

Maybe the poet is a man who holds inside himself

 

the cruel pity of each spring.

 

 

 

(Translation by Laura Anna Stortoni, from The Seasons)

© 2015 Giuseppe Conte

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