November

November
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english translation

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audio of November
Geoffrey Brock reads the poem in translation, November by Giovanni Pascoli (translated from the Italian.)

November

Gemlike the air, the sun so bright above
you look for blossoms on the apricot trees,
recall the bitter whitethorn scent you love
and sniff the breeze.

But the whitethorn’s withered, the brittle boughs
hatch their black schemes against the empty blue,
and the earth rings hollow now beneath the blows
of every shoe.

Around you, silence, but for sighs that spill
in upon every gust, from grove and wood:
frail settlements of leaves. This is the chill
summer of the dead.

original Italian poem

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audio of "Novembre"
Geoffrey Brock reads the original poem, Novembre by Giovanni Pascoli in Italian

Novembre

Gemmea l’aria, il sole cosí chiaro
che tu ricerchi gli albicocchi in fiore,
e del prunalbo l’odorino amaro
senti nel cuore.

Ma secco è il pruno, e le stecchite piante
di nere trame segnano il sereno,
e vuoto il cielo, e cavo al piè sonante
sembra il terreno.

Silenzio, intorno: solo, alle ventate,
odi lontano, da giardini ed orti,
di foglie un cader fragile. È l’estate,
fredda, dei morti.

(1891)

I have tried to translate

I have tried to translate this poem myself but found myself forcing the rhyme scheme. This is beautifully done and catches the music of Pascoli's verse perfectly. I like "frail settlements of leaves"; I hear an echo of Wilbur's "Year's End"; I don't know if it's deliberate or not but to me it seems fully justified. I also love "the brittle boughs / hatch their black schemes against the empty blue". Beautiful.

thanks

thanks for your comments. and yes, the echo of wilbur was deliberate, and i'm delighted that you noticed it.