Poem of the Day: L’infinito ( The Infinite ) by Giacomo Leopardi

Always dear to me was this solitary hill
and this hedge, which, for its part,
excludes most of the horizon.
But sitting and gazing at such
endless spaces that stretch with their
profound and serene silences,
my wandering thoughts
nearly engulf me. As the wind
rustles through the trees,
I must keep on, balancing
an infinite silence with this voice.
I recall the eternal,
the dead seasons, the present,
the living, and the sound of it;
and in traversing this immensity,
my thoughts drown, and to me,
to shipwreck in this sea, is sweet.

Alternative translation

This lonely hill was always dear to me,
and this hedgerow, which cuts off the view
of so much of the last horizon.
But sitting here and gazing, I can see
beyond, in my mind’s eye, unending spaces,
and superhuman silences, and depthless calm,
till what I feel
is almost fear. And when I hear
the wind stir in these branches, I begin
comparing that endless stillness with this noise:
and the eternal comes to mind,
and the dead seasons, and the present
living one, and how it sounds.
So my mind sinks in this immensity:
and foundering is sweet in such a sea.

(translated by Jonathan Galassi)

— Original Italian —

Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
e questa siepe, che da tanta parte
dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
silenzi, e profondissima quiete
io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
infinito silenzio a questa voce
vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
e le morte stagioni, e la presente
e viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa
immensità s’annega il pensier mio:
e il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

image: At world’s end by *RHADS

 

 

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