2.07.2009

Part V

First, I apologize for not posting a poem yesterday, but who needs 7 poems anyway? Well, actually, since 7 is an auspicious number, I'll post two more poems, not including this one.

Today's poem is very much a multi-faceted dedication. Last night I went to meet Laura and Fabrizio, and had dinner in their apartment. Laura is my Papa's friend's daughter, and now a wonderful friend. Fabrizio's favorite poet, since of course we discussed poetry, is Giacomo Leopardi and this is his poem L'Infinito - I'm going to write it down in Italian and then copy the translation after, which I think/hope is faithful.

L'Infinito

Sempre caro mi fu quest'ermo colle,
e questa siepe, che da tanta parte
dell'ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.

Ma, sedendo e mirando, interminati
spazi di la' da quella, e sovrumani
silenzi, e profondissima quiete
io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
infinito silenzio a questa voce

vo comparando: e mi sovvien l'eterno,
e le morte stagioni, e la presente

e viva, e il suon di lei. Cosi' tra questa
immensita' s'annega il pensier mio;
e il naugragar m'e' dolce in questo mare.




The Infinite

It was always dear to me, this solitary hill,
and this hedgegrow here, that closes out my view,

from so much of the ultimate horizon.
But sitting here, and watching here, in thought,
I create interminable spaces,
greater than human silences, and deepest
quiet, where the heart barely fails to terrify.
When I hear the wind, blowing among these leaves,
I go on to compare that infinite silence
with this voice, and I remember the eternal
and the dead seasons, and the living present,
and its sound, so that in this immensity

my thoughts are drowned, and shipwreck seems sweet
to me in this sea.

What a beautiful poem. I copied the Italian from the book that Fabrizio and Laura lent to me along with a couple of other books of poetry. Though this poem is about infinity, for some reason it causes me to think also about life's minuscule and delightful details. Today for instance, going shopping in the San Lorenzo market with Laura and Beth was my infinity. I feel a happiness here that is quiet like a firework that has yet to be lit. One of these days something is going to light the fuse, I'm going to fly above the Duomo, stretch my arms as wide as I can, and fizzle, sparkle, burn with delight.


This poem articulates, in a way that I don't think I can, the way I feel here. Drowning, for example, isn't usually a desirable experience, nor is being shipwrecked. Just imagining being shipwrecked here, in my infinity, is divine.
It's also versatile, which is where my multi-faceted dedication comes into play. It can be a love poem, especially with the ending lines in another translation I didn't think was as accurate.

Eternity breaks through time, past
and present intermingle in her image.
In the inner shadows I lose
myself, drowning in the
sea-depths of timeless love.

It can be a poem about the joy of living, a place that makes you feel infinity, the living present and it's sound. It can be about living inside yourself, being alone with the infinity of consciousness (which makes me miss my Father and Uncle Grant..you deep and pensive men, you). There are, appropriately, an infinite amount of possibilities for the relevance of this poem. I'll leave you in contemplation while I go enjoy my infinite incandescent happiness.

I love you all to an infinite degree.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

Are the various pictures looking over the water to the bridge and beyond one of your favorite spots? It looks so peaceful and relaxing as if the world stops when you're there! I want to come take pictures there. :(

Rach said...

I guess I've had a lot of pictures from that particular spot :-) It always looks a bit different, and I really love it there on Ponte Vecchio. Wish you were here with me too!

Love love love you Daniel!