Wednesday, March 16, 2022

"Returning to the Village"


What are you doing 
by the fire, girl, 
pale as a sapling 
fading in the dusk?
“I’m kindling old sticks. 
The smoke rises dark 
and tells me the world 
I live in is safe.”
But by the sweet-smelling fire 
I cannot breathe.
I wish I were the wind
dying down in the village.


My journey is over. 
Sweet smell of polenta, 
sad lowing of cattle. 
My journey is over.
“You’ve come here among us, 
but we only live,
live quiet and dead,
like water that trickles 
unseen between hedges.”


Midday chimes ring
festive in my village.
Yet what silence the bell casts over the fields!
You haven’t changed, bell;
in awe I return to your voice.
“Time does not move: 
behold the fathers’ smiles 
in the children’s eyes
like rain on the branches.”


Borrowed from The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini (Univ of Chicago, 2014), Edited and Translated by Stephen Sartarelli

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