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Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

Mid-day Torpor, Pale and Vague

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This is my version of Eugenio Montale's celebrated poem 'Meriggiare pallido e assorto' (original Italian here) , first written in 1916.

The date is significant. Though the poem appears as an anti-idyll, nature poem, it's actually permeated by the carnage of World War I. 

Montale

 

Midday torpor, pale and vague

Beside the crumbling garden wall

Hear from the thickets and the thorns,

Snap of blackbird, scatter of snake.

 

Through cracks in the mud, in its wrinkles,

Marauding armies of red ants

Now breaking ranks, now interlinking

To fight over some insignificant mount.

 

Leaves quake as the sea below

Ripples its scales, and starts up 

Cicadas shaking with rage 

Screeching from arid escarpments.

 

Blinded where sun blazes

Shadowed by sad amazement

How our life and labours

Are followed like this path

By a wall of jagged glass. 

 

Read 2108 times Last modified on Monday, 28 September 2015 19:30
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