lunedì 14 novembre 2016

Umberto Saba, "The Lustful"

Original translations from Umberto Saba's set of short poems I Prigioni, 1924 (The Captives; a title after Michelangelo's famous "unfinished" sculptures).

The Lustful (Il lussurioso)

I was as a kid the first in every game;
always, as if equipped with wings,
aiming upwards. Now all good, all evil
I lock in one thought---which I won't tell.

Out of myself all joys but one I leave,
of heaven and earth; to my mortal ardour
a trunk as a punishment was given, where
Love bound me defenceless, naked.

Ouch, such cruel excruciating knots
penetrate so sweetly my living flesh
that I would refuse freedom if offered.

Better that in new ways they were
tightened by Love around my limbs so
as to spurt young blood, I would like.