by Camillo Sbarbaro
Hush, soul. These are the abject
days when one mush live without will,
the days of hopeless waiting.
Like a bare tree in the middle of winter,
sorry for itself in the empty courtyard,
I don't believe I shall leaf again
and doubt if I have ever done so.
Walking the streets, alone like this,
jostled and invisible,
I feel absent even to myself.
I am drawn always to the noise of the crowd,
stop, stunned, in front of shop windows
and swivel at the rustle of every skirt.
At the singing of some blind street-musician,
at the unexpected flash of neck,
idiotic tears drop from my eyes,
my eyes are kindled with desire.
Because my whole life is in my eyes:
everything that passes stirs it
as a listless wind stirs stagnant water.
I am like a mirror, perfectly resigned
to reflecting every bit of street life.
Into myself, though, I never look
as there's nothing to see...
Come evening, in my own bed,
I stretch out full length, as in a coffin.
translated by Christopher Reid, in The Faber Book of 20th Century Italian Poems @ faber and faber, 2004
Italian version appreciated if found email it please