Ilenia M. Sciarroni:
‘A quest'ora si pedala tra schiamazzi di cicale e suoni di piatti.’
‘lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.’
Today's a day when those who work
are idling. Those who played must work
and hurry, too, to get it done,
with little dignity or none.
The newspapers are sold; the kiosk shutters
crash down. But anyway, in the night
the headlines wrote themselves, see, on the streets
and sidewalks everywhere; a sediment's splashed
even to the first floors of apartment houses.
The whisper of the sky as the day is closing;
You would think the earth would be the same even if you are not there, even when you are not.
I wonder, now, the breathing beings, every one of them, are friends in this brief window of life.
They will disappear as you
‘The Cats Will Know by Cesare Pavese’
translated by Geoffrey Brock:
Rain will fall again
on your smooth pavement,
a light rain like
a breath or a step.
The breeze and the dawn
will flourish again
when you return,
as if beneath your step.
Between flowers and sills
the cats will know.
There will be other days,
there will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know.
You will hear words
old and spent and useless
like costumes left over
from yesterday’s parties.
You too will make gestures.
You’ll answer with words—
face of springtime,
you too will make gestures.
The cats will know,
face of springtime;
and the light rain
and the hyacinth dawn
that wrench the heart of him
who hopes no more for you—
they are the sad smile
you smile by yourself.
There will be other days,
other voices and renewals.
Face of springtime,
we will suffer at daybreak.
‘Elizabeth Bishop, The Art of Poetry No. 27’
Interviewed by Elizabeth Spires
The interview took place at Lewis Wharf, Boston, on the afternoon of June 28, 1978, three days before Miss Bishop and two friends were to leave for North Haven, a Maine island in Penobscot Bay where she summered. Her living room, on the fourth floor of Lewis Wharf, had a spectacular view of Boston Harbor; when I arrived, she immediately took me out on the balcony to point out such Boston landmarks as Old North Church in the distance, mentioning that Old Ironsides was moored nearby.
Vision and Prayer (1939)
Who is born
In the next room
So loud to my own
That I can hear the womb
Opening and the dark run
8 НОЯБРЯ 1913 ГОДА
Солнце комнату наполнило
Пылью желтой и сквозной.
Я проснулась и припомнила:
Милый, нынче праздник твой.
Оттого и оснеженная
Даль за окнами тепла,
Оттого и я, бессонная,
Как причастница спала.
Se ora tu bussassi alla mia porta
e io togliessi gli occhiali
e io togliessi i miei che sono uguali
e poi tu entrassi nella mia bocca
senza temere baci disuguali
e mi dicessi: «Amore Mio,
ma che è susccesso?», sarebbe un pezzo
di teatro di successo.
A Miracle For Breakfast
I can tell what I saw next; it was not a miracle.
A beautiful villa stood in the sun
and from its doors came the smell of hot coffee.
In front, a baroque white plaster balcony
added by birds, who nest along the river,
—I saw it with one eye close to the crumb—
and galleries and marble chambers.