The Goat


I talked to a goat.

She was alone in a pasture,

and tethered.

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):

Leave a Reply