Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TC: Giuseppe Ungaretti: A Red Dress (12 September 1966)


Seated Woman: Egon Schiele, Vienna, 1913

You popped up at the gate
In a red dress
To tell me you're the flame
That consumes, yet ignites again.

A thorn from your carmine
Rose has pricked my finger
So that you may taste my blood, as though
It were already yours.

Loitering at the end of that street
That breaks open
The sky from within, I had already known
Long ago that, in suffering
With reckless faith for love,
Age counts as nothing.

That was on a Monday,
To hold hands
And talk pleasantly
We could find refuge only
In a sad garden
Of the convulsive city.

Nude with orange-red cloth: Egon Schiele, c. 1913

12 Settembre 1966
Sei comparsa al portone
in un vestito rosso
per dirmi che sei fuoco
che consuma e riaccende.
Una spina mi ha punto
delle tue rose rosse
perché succhiasse al dito,
come già tuo, il mio sangue.
Percorremmo la strada
che lacera il rigoglio
della selvaggia altura,
ma già da molto tempo
sapevo che soffrendo con temeraria fede,
l’età per vincere non conta.
Era di lunedì,
per stringerci le mani
e parlare felici
non si trovò rifugio
che in un giardino triste
della città convulsa.

Standing Woman in Red: Egon Schiele, 1913

The Green Stocking
: Egon Schiele, 1914

Wally with a Red Blouse: Egon Schiele, c. 1913

Giuseppe Ungaretti: 12 Settembre 1966 (12 September 1966) from Dialogo (Dialogue), 1968: translated by TC

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

TC: Wallace Stevens: Tea at the Palaz of Hoon


Purple-ground baluster and cover: Unknown potter, German, c. 1730, porcelain, height 40 cm (private collection)

 Not less because in purple I descended
 The western day through what you called
 The loneliest air, not less was I myself.

 What was the ointment sprinkled on my beard?
 What were the hymns that buzzed beside my ears?
 What was the sea whose tide swept through me there?

 Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
 And my ears made the blowing hymns they heard.
 I was myself the compass of that sea:

 I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
 Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
 And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

Wallace Stevens: Tea at the Palaz of Hoon, from Harmonium, 1921