VERSI AD EMILIA LINES TO EMILY
Carlo Betocchi trans. Ned Condini

Guarda questi begli anemoni colti
l'altra sera a Settignano,
alcuni viola, altri pi chiari; erano
mezzi moribondi, cos sepolti

quasi, fra le tue mani, quasi emigrati
di l, tra le cose che si ricordano,
e invece, vedili, come pian piano
si son ripresi, nell'acqua; esaltati

da una mite speranza di rivivere
si ricolorano su dal corrotto
gambo che la tua forbice recise;

fan come noi, si parlano nel folto
della lor famigliola, e paion dire
molto del breve tempo, molto, molto.

Just look at these gorgeous anemones
picked last night on the Settignano hills,
some mauve, some brighter; they were half-moribund,
almost squashed in your hands,

almost migrated Over There, where things
are remembered; instead, look at them: how
slowly they came to in water.
Exalted by a mild

hope of reviving,
they take on color from the festering stems
your scissors nipped;

they are like us: they talk to one another
in the thick of their little family
and seem to say a lot about short time.

Copyright © Garzanti Editore 2008, trans. © Ned Condini 2008 - publ. Chelsea Editions


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