Saturday, 28 November 2015

Winter Noon - Umberto Saba

At that moment when I was still happy
(God forgive that vast and terrible
word) what almost changed my joy
to tears? You’ll say: ‘Some
lovely creature passing by
who smiled at you’. No, a balloon,
a turquoise balloon, drifting
through the blue sky, with the native
air never so bright in the cold
clear noon of a winter’s day.
The sky with a little white cloud,
and the windows alight in the sun,
and meagre smoke from a chimney or two,
and above those things, divine
things, the sphere that escaped a child’s
incautious hand (surely he wept,
in the midst of the crowd, out of grief,
his terrible grief) between the Stock
Exchange and the Coffee House, where
I sat, clear-eyed, admiring his prize,
beyond the glass, now rising, and now falling.

Umberto Saba (1883 - 1957) Italy
Translated by A.S. Kline

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