by Salvatore Quasimodo

(Necropolis of Pantalica)

A gay gust of winged things
offending the green light:
the sea in the leaves.
I’m out of tune. And all that joy breeds in me
time tears apart: of this the tree voices
keep hardly an echo.
Love for me a lost
memory, not human:
upon the dead the sky stigmata glitter
and deep in the river, starshapes fall:
the hour softens with rain
a song stirs, this everlasting night.
Years and years in an open
cell of my earth I sleep,
shoulders of kelp against gray waters:
in the still air meteors roar.

Translated by Sonia Raiziss and Alfredo De Palchi