Street In Agrigentum

There is still the wind that I remember
firing the manes of horses, racing,
slanting, across the plains,
the wind that stains and scours the sandstone,

and the heart of gloomy columns, telamons,
overthrown in the grass. Spirit of the ancients, grey

with rancour, return on the wind,
breathe in that feather-light moss
that covers those giants, hurled down by heaven.
How alone in the space that’s still yours!
And greater, your pain, if you hear, once more,
the sound that moves, far off, towards the sea,
where Hesperus streaks the sky with morning:
the jew’s-harp vibrates
in the waggoner’s mouth
as he climbs the hill of moonlight, slow,
in the murmur of Saracen olive trees.

by Salvatore Quasimodo

Comments (2)

''Strada di Agrigentum'' Là dura un vento che ricordo acceso nelle criniere dei cavalli obliqui in corsa lungo le pianure, vento che macchia e rode l’arenaria e il cuore dei telamoni lugubri, riversi sopra l’erba. Anima antica, grigia di rancori, torni a quel vento, annusi il delicato muschio che riveste i giganti sospinti giù dal cielo. Come sola allo spazio che ti resta! E più t’accori s’odi ancora il suono che s’allontana largo verso il mare dove Espero già striscia mattutino: il marranzano tristemente vibra nella gola al carraio che risale il colle nitido di luna, lento tra il murmure d’ulivi saraceni.
''Street in Agrigentum'' There is still the wind that I remember firing the manes of horses, racing, slanting, across the plains, the wind that stains and scours the sandstone, and the heart of gloomy columns, telamons, overthrown in the grass. Spirit of the ancients, grey with rancour, return on the wind, breathe in that feather-light moss that covers those giants, hurled down by heaven. How alone in the space that’s still yours! And greater, your pain, if you hear, once more, the sound that moves, far off, towards the sea, where Hesperus streaks the sky with morning: the jew’s-harp vibrates in the waggoner’s mouth as he climbs the hill of moonlight, slow, in the murmur of Saracen olive trees. - - Note: On the southern coast of Sicily, Agrigento is the ancient Agrigentum, or Akragas, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia.