Da Ossi di seppia (1925)
Spesso il male di vivere...

Spesso il male di vivere ho incontrato:
era il rivo strozzato che gorgoglia,
era l'incartocciarsi della foglia
riarsa, era il cavallo stramazzato.

Bene non seppi, fuori del prodigio
che schiude la divina Indifferenza:
era la statua nella sonnolenza
del meriggio, e la nuvola, e il falco alto levato.

by Eugenio Montale (1896-1981)

From Cuttlefish bones (Short bones, #7)
Life's evil have I met with...

Life's evil have I met with by and by:
it was in the gargling cry of a stream choking,
it was in the shriveling-up of the smoking
leaf, it was in the horse about to die.

It's good I haven't known, beyond the boon
that sheds a glimpse of divine Indifference:
it was in the statue amid the somnolence
of noon, and in the cloud, and the falcon raised on high.

trans. by Jake Spatz

JAKE SPATZ is a poet and translator of Italian and Argentine poetry, who works professionally as a freelance writer, design consultant, and teacher of Argentine tango. Spatz's translations of Dante and Giacomo Leopardi have been broadcast on NPR, commissioned for undergraduate coursework, and published in academic journals. He is currently completing his translation of the verse opus of Leopardi. Spatz has rendered over 70 Argentinian tango lyrics into English since October 2005. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Spatz currently lives, works, dances, works, and occasionally works, in the vicinity of Washington, DC. He maintains the website http://TangoDC.com, which currently archives his tango translations. His creative prose most recently appeared in Slurve.

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