Sunday, January 03, 2010

Like Sweet Water

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Giacomo Leopardi

This hill has been standing in my heart a long time,
thick with brush that cuts off much of the horizon.
I sit here, I look out and I think about things—
about long spaces beyond this place, and silence
that is superhuman; about the deep quiet
that happens sometimes in the heart and that almost
replaces the pulse.
Whenever there is wind here
I compare its pronunciation of the leaves
to all that silence. And whenever I do that
I think of eternity and the centuries
of the dead as if here living with the present
and the wind's sound. Then my thought drowns, but I find it
sweet, like sweet water, going down in that great sea.

(for Michael Peglau, translated from the Italian by Robert Bringhurst)