Friday, October 22, 2021

GIACOMO LEOPARDI
Cantos for the Crestfallen

II.

The sun that warms this rotting, blooming earth 
Knows nothing of the blazing death which scorches 
The summit of things where I first wept for you.

Yet still I call it sun, name brightness what I cannot
Look upon without dying, call annihilation what
I cannot not expire from by weeping and sighing for.

What made me both think of bottling those drops 
And never really consider doing so? Who made me 
Know the melodrama even more true at its falsest?

Later that day none of us needed relics to weep over, 
When our silly bodies were a secret golden ossuary, 
And witty laughter the worst sorrow we could stomach.

A sweetest meal of sighs we made. Now the asymptotic 
Leftovers infinitely remain around the earth like seeds 
Of a new life that lives everywhere except this world.

A life not living, more a truly breathless realm beyond 
Beyond, an al di là far cooler than any philosopher’s,
A place composing each here into the mark of its there.

Yes, it was a sun or special kind of luminous void 
That my tears veiled, that I-we walked away toward, 
A gold that also the blind must shield their eyes from.

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