I talked to a goat.
She was alone in a pasture,
Stuffed with grass, soaked
by the rain, she bleated.
That monotonous bleating was brother
to my sorrow. And I answered, first
in jest, then because sorrow is eternal,
has one voice and never changes.
I heard this voice in the wails
of a solitary goat.
In a goat with a Semitic face,
I heard all other pain lamenting,
all other lives.
Umberto Saba (Italy 1883-1957), with Infinitum (wax, resin, metal, wood, cord, glass bells, ph. Diana Marrone) by Berlinde de Bruyckere on show at Palazzo Fortuny (Venice) until November 6, 2016
Translation by Leonard Nathan and George Hochfield – source (independent journal of opinions): https://newrepublic.com/article/62908/life-poem