Pic from here
You laugh at me, flaying myself for words,
bending around me in the straining elms,
the blue edge of skies and hills
and quivering waters’ voices,
wiling my youth
with clouds and hues
the light submerges.
I know you. Waylost in you
beauty lifts your breasts,
scoops to your hips and in gentle sweep
spreads over you shy sex,
flows down in harmony of forms
to the ten shells of your lovely feet.
But wait; if i take you,
you too become word to me, and sadness.
Salvatore Quasimodo – Traslation by Jack Bevan
This is one of the best poems I ever read. Better: one of my favourite poems.
So sensual and so sad both. Almost densperated. That “I know you” (Ti so in the original Italian version) bring us into a deep intimacy and meantime into an immense sadness.
Those two last lines are almost unberable and filled with a so great pain… Well, rereading it in these so strange days makes me understand better the poet and feel a sharp melancholy.
Original version (Italian)
Tu ridi che per sillabe mi scarno
e curvo cieli e colli, azzurra siepe
a me d’intorno, e stomir d’olmi
e voci d’acque trepide;
che giovinezza inganno
con nuvole e colori
che la luce sprofonda.
Ti so. In te tutta smarrita
alza bellezza i seni,
s’incava ai lombi e in soave moto
s’allarga per il pube timoroso,
e ridiscende in armonia di forme
ai piedi belli con dieci conchiglie.
Ma se ti prendo, ecco:
parola tu pure mi sei e tristezza.