Poetry corner - Corazzini

Poetry corner – Corazzini

SERGIO CORAZZINI is an early 20th c. poet born in Rome in February 1886. He died there of tubercolosis in June 1907 at the early age of 21. He is considered a ‘twilight’ poet (poeta crepuscolare) as his poetry focuses on emptiness and expresses the melancholic desire for a life that illness denies him. He writes about the simple things and his language is simple too, as can be seen in the following poem.

 Il ritorno

Ancora, sorella, il cipresso,
laggiù, coronato
di piccole, pallide rose,
ancora lo stesso
viale, le scale corrose,
la porta, le brevi
finestre serrate
da l’ultima estate,
l’antica fontana
che accolse la luna e le stelle,
che accoglie le nevi
che accoglie le foglie
de le vicine alberelle,
ancora nell’aria
quel flebile suono di morte
che pianse una triste campana lontana,
ancora su la solitaria
villa in rovina
lo spasimo grande de l’ora
le ultime nostre parole,
l’abbandono del nostro sole!
Ancora, sorella,
come due colombi spauriti,
i tuoi grandi occhi smarriti,
su le perdute cose.

Here is a translation by Michael Palma in Sunday Evening – Selected Poems of Saverio Corazzini:

The return

Still, sister, down there/ the cypress, crowned / with tiny pale roses all round, / still the same / avenue, the worn stairs, / the door, the small / windows closed / since the summer before, / the old fountain / that received the moon and the stars, / that receives the snows / that receives the leaves / from the aspens nearby, / still in the air / death’s plaintive sigh / moaned by a sad and distant bell, / still over the solitary / villa in disrepair / the sharp pain of the hour / when our last words were said, / when our sun fled. / Still, sister, / like two doves terrified, / your wide bewildered eyes, / over the lost things.

Yvette Devlin