From L’Allegria/Cheerfulness (Poems 1914-1919) by Guiseppi Ungaretti
Part 2, Porto Sepolto/The Buried Port

Risvegli Mariano il 29 giugno 1916

Ogni mio momento
io l’ho vissuto
un’altra volta
in un’epoca fonda
fuori di me

Sono lontano colla mia memoria
dietro a quelle vite perse

Mi desto in un barno
di care cose consueta
e raddolcito

Rincorro le nuvole
che si sciolgono dolcemente
cogli occhi attenti
e mi rammento
di qualche amico

Ma Dio cos’e?

E la creatura
sbarra gli occhi
e accoglie
gociole di stelle
e la pianua muta

E si sente


Awakening (Translation) by Wally Swist
Mariano, 29 June 1916

My every moment
I have experienced
another time
in an early age
beside myself

My memory takes me far away
behind those lives that have been lost

I awaken in a bathroom
amid dear and unusual things
and sweetened

my eyes chase clouds
that dissolve softly
and I recall
a few dead friends

I ask what is God?

And the creature
widens your eyes
and welcomes
drops of stars
and augments the plain

And you feel
that it returns

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), Awakening & Visitation, and Evanescence: Selected Poems (2020), both with Shanti Arts. His translations have been published and/or are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation and Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices among others