Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Translation from the Italian...

I'm really glad to have come across this poem from Bologna poet, Davide Rondoni, from a collection published in 2003. Really good, I think, although I can't vouch for the translation (I did my best):

To love someone…

To love one person
is a long journey –

cliffs, falls of water
and sudden, expansive darkness
the closure of forests,
flashes at times
on a silence vast as the sea

and streets high above, (shout)

avenues immersed unexpectedly
in unfamiliar light

To love one, a thousand, everyone
is like holding a map of wind.
We can’t succeed, but the heart
has been placed at the centre of the chest
for this great, marvellous failure.

On the plateaux of each night
here I am with repetitions and hands that have spilled poetry:
do not wish them ill, they are yours, do not make them go away.

- Davide Rondoni (from Avrebbe amato chiunque (He Would Have Loved Anyone) , Guanda, 2003), translated by me.


apprentice said...

I love the map in the wind line, such an instant visual from that!

BTW if you're looking for places to read North Berwick Writers' Group are doing an open house on the 17 of Nov in the library there. I'll get you more info if you're interested.

Rob Mackenzie said...

That sounds interesting. Yes, I'd like the info. I may even be on holiday (but not away anywhere) on 17 Nov.

I think sometimes that a single image can make an entire poem, and that "map of wind" image does it for this one.

apprentice said...

It's 7.30pm to 9pm on Friday 17 Nov at North Berwick Library. You can book an open slot.

Enquires to

It's being run by the North Berwick Group, which includes Alan Gay. If Colin Will is around he will probably go, he administers the St Andrews festival.