Friday, September 16, 2011


I'll Remember This Autumn

I'll remember this autumn
Gleaming and skittish in the migrant light
That curves in the wind across the slouching reeds.
The canals at floodtime swelled waist high—
Shriveled by the dry heat, I plunged in.
When I'm with friends at night in the city
I'll tell the story of these privileged days,
Of my father whose feet turned red
Treading grapes,
Of my shy mother
Carrying a warm egg in her hand,
Happier than any bride.
My father talked of that cherry tree
Planted on their wedding day. It hasn't
Bloomed this year, he told me. He dreamed
It would someday be their firstborn's wedding bed—mine.
The north wind blew open the sky
To the quarter moon. A moon
With a calf's pinkish budding horns!
Tomorrow we'll be able to plant, he said.
I looked at his open palm, its creases
Sharpened by the firelight, I heard
The seed explode in his heart,
I saw blazing in his eyes
The corn-ripened conch.

(Text of the poem in the original Italian)
Leonardo Sinisgalli
translated from the Italian by W. S. Di Piero

(Courtesy of Poetry Daily)

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