from L’Allegria by Giuseppe Ungaretti
Parigi – Milano 1919

Odo a primavera nei rami neri indolenziti.
Si puo sequire solo a aqest’ora, passandotra le
case soli con I propri pensieri.
E l’ora delle finsestre chiuse, ma
aquesta tristezza di ritonri m’ha tolto il sonno.
Un velo di verde interneiria domattoina da que-
sti alberi, poco fa quado e sopraggiunta la
notte, ancora secchi.
Iddio non sida pace.
Solo a quest’ora e dato, a qualche raro sogna-
tore, il martirio di seguire l’opera.
Stanotte, benche sia d’aprile, nevica sulla citta.
Nessuna violenza supera auella che ha aspet-
ti silenziosi e fredda.



I hear the spring in the aching black branches.
you can follow it, only at this time, passing between
the houses alone with your own thoughts.
It is the hour of closed windows, but this sadness
of returning has deprived me of sleep.
These trees, still dry shortly before night suddenly
fell, will appear as a veil of green tomorrow morning,
The divine work has no rest.
Only at this time, it is given to some rare dreamer,
the martyrdom of following whatever
it is that is their work.
Although it is April, tonight snow is falling over the city.
No violence is greater than that whose aspects
are silent and cold.

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press). He was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as co-winner in the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Contest, and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature and the of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize.