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Poetry in Translation (CCCXL), Eugenio MONTALE (1896 – 1981), ITALY/LIGURIA: “Ripenso il tuo sorriso ”, “I recall your smile”, “Surâsul tău”

June 15th, 2015 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCCXL), Eugenio MONTALE
(1896 – 1981), ITALY/LIGURIA: “Ripenso il tuo sorriso ”,
“I recall your smile”, “Surâsul tău”


Eugenio MONTALE,
(1896 – 1981),
Ripenso il tuo sorriso

Ripenso il tuo sorriso, ed è per me un’acqua limpida
scorta per avventura tra le pietraie d’un greto,
esiguo specchio in cui guardi un’ellera e i suoi corimbi;
e su tutto l’abbraccio di un bianco cielo quieto.

Codesto è il mio ricordo; non saprei dire, o lontano,
se dal tuo volto si esprime libera un’anima ingenua,
vero tu sei dei raminghi che il male del mondo estenua
e recano il loro soffrire con sé come un talismano.

Ma questo posso dirti, che la tua pensata effigie
sommerge i crucci estrosi in un’ondata di calma,
e che il tuo aspetto s’insinua nella memoria grigia
schietto come la cima di una giovane palma…


(1896 – 1981),

I recall your smile, and for me it is limpid water
witnessed by chance among the stones of a riverbed.
slight mirror in which you see an ivy and its inflorescence,
and over all the embrace of a serene white sky.

This is my recollection; I cannot say, a distant one,
if an ingenuous spirit is freely expressed in your face,
truly you are a wanderer whom the world’s ills exhaust,
and who carry your suffering with you like a talisman.

But this I may say; that your thoughtful portrait
drowns anxious inspiration in a wave of calm;
and your aspect insinuates itself in grey memory
pure as the crown of a youthful palm-tree…

© Copyright 2012 A. S. Kline, All Rights Reserved


(1896 – 1981)
Surâsul tău

Nu visez decât la surâsul tău – o apă limpede,
mărturie întâmplătoare în albia râului,
oglindă în care zăresti frunza iederei,
dar mai ales cuprinsul cerului, strălucitor şi calm.

Este amintirea mea, nu stiu, poate de demult,
dacă faţa ta ar reflecta sufletul tău liber…
sigur că ai avea gânduri sumbre, încercate de nevoile vieţii,
purtând durerea ca un talisman.

Dar atât pot să-ţi spun: faţa ta gânditoare
înfruntă neliniştea, cu un val de acalmie,
în timp ce aparenţa ta se transformă într-o imagine diafană,
elegantă, ca silueta unui palmier.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London
© 2015 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, Londra

* * * * * * *

13451329 SHORT BIO: Despite the fact that Eugenio Montale produced only five volumes of poetry in his first fifty years as a writer, when the Swedish Academy awarded the Italian poet and critic the 1975 Nobel Prize for Literature they called him “one of the most important poets of the contemporary West,” according to a Publishers Weekly report. One of Montale’s translators, Jonathan Galassi, echoed the enthusiastic terms of the Academy in his introduction to The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays of Eugenio Montale in which he referred to Montale as “one of the great artistic sensibilities of our time.” In a short summary of critical opinion on Montale’s work, Galassi continued: “Eugenio Montale has been widely acknowledged as the greatest Italian poet since [Giacomo] Leopardi and his work has won an admiring readership throughout the world. His … books of poems have, for thousands of readers, expressed something essential about our age.”

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