Something dies, something is born
the moment a rumble of thunder splits open
the upper reaches of the night, sudden
announcement of spring, rupturing sleep…
Generations on generations
of men, some defeated, some lifted
by their savage miseries,
ages thick with pain, one into the next,
onto one suffering, one single point,
bearing down, massing together, moaning
and creaking from pier to pier, the bridge
darkening toward the last span,
the tree at its limit, from root to fruit.
My hand is on the stitch of pain, I’m listening.
First night of spring, swelling
and lacerating, between becoming and being.
Mario Luzi (1914-2005) from “Dal fondo delle campagne” (1955-1961), in Tutte le poesie, Milano, Garzanti, Milano, 1988
Translation by Nick Benson
Image cover, from Contemporary Architecture in Venice by R. Codello, publisher Marsilio and Fondazione Venezia (ISBN 9788831720533): Torrei di Porta Nuova (Arsenale), Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel