Charles Baudelaire,”Les bijoux”

La tres chere était nue, et, connaissant mon coeur,
Elle n’avait gardé que ses bijoux sonores,
Dont le riche attirail lui donnait l’air vainqueur
Qu’ont dans leurs jours heureux les esclaves des Mores.

Quand il jette en dansant son bruit vif et moqueur,
Ce monde rayonnant de métal et de pierre
Me ravit en extase, et j’aime a la fureur
Les choses ou le son se mele a la lumiere.

Elle était donc couchée et se laissait aimer,
Et du haut du divan elle souriait d’aise
A mon amour profond et doux comme la mer,
Qui vers elle montait comme vers sa falaise.

Les yeux fixés sur moi, comme un tigre dompté,
D’un air vague et reveur elle essayait des poses,
Et la candeur unie a la lubricité
Donnait un charme neuf a ses métamorphoses ;

Et son bras et sa jambe, et sa cuisse et ses reins,
Polis comme de l’huile, onduleux comme un cygne,
Passaient devant mes yeux clairvoyants et sereins ;
Et son ventre et ses seins, ces grappes de ma vigne,

S’avançaient plus câlin que les anges du Mal,
Pour troubler le repos ou mon âme était mise,
Et pour la déranger du rocher de cristal
Ou, calme et solitaire, elle s’était assise.

Je croyais voir unis par un nouveau dessin
Les hanches de l’Antiope au buste d’un imberbe,
Tant sa taille faisait ressortir son bassin.
Sur ce teint fauve et brun, le fard était superbe ;

– Et la lampe s’étant résignée a mourir,
Comme le foyer seul illuminait la chambre,
Chaque fois qu’il poussait un flamboyant soupir,
Il inondait de sang cette peau couleur d’ambre !


Edgar Allan Poe, ”Annabel Lee”

Molti e molti anni or sono, in un regno in riva al mare, là viveva una fanciulla che col nome puoi chiamare di Annabel Lee; e questa fanciulla viveva e soltanto pensava ad amare e ad essere amata da me.
lo ero un bambino e lei era bambina, in quel regno in riva al mare; ma d’amore ci amavamo che era molto più che amore, io e la mia Annabel Lee; d’un amore che invidiavano gli alati serafini su nel Cielo a lei e a me.
E per questo, tanto e tanto tempo fa, in quel regno in riva al mare, da una nube sibilò con forza un vento, a raggelare la mia bella Annabel Lee; e arrivarono i suoi nobili parenti e da me via la portarono, per serrarla in un sepolcro, in quel regno in riva al mare.
E non così felici in Cielo, gli angeli invidiavano lei e me. Sì! E per questo (come tutti in fondo sanno in quel regno in riva al mare) nella notte da una nube sbucò il vento a raggelare uccidendo Annabel Lee.
Ben più forte era il nostro amore dell’amore di chi era più vecchio di noi, di chi era più saggio di noi, e né gli angeli nell’alto del Cielo, né mai i demoni nascosti nel mare, la mia anima dall’anima potranno separare della bella Annabel Lee:
Poiché mai fulge la luna ch’io non sogni della bella Annabel Lee. E mai sorgono le stelle ch’io non veda splender gli occhi della bella Annabel Lee: e così la notte intera giaccio al fianco, del mio amore, vita mia e sposa mia, là nella sua tomba in riva al mare, là nel suo sepolcro tra il fragore del mare.
Intr-un regat langa mare, pe care
Poate ca ai sa-l cunosti intr-o zi,
Traia odata, de mult, o fata
Pe nume Annabel Lee.
Ursita i-a fost de a fi iubita
De mine si de-a iubi.
In acel regat langa mare, eu si ea.
Amandoi eram doar niste copii.
Ne iubeam insa cu-o dragoste ce intrecea
Orice dragoste, eu si Annabel Lee.
Inaripati, chiar serafimii din cer
La dragostea noastra-ar fi putut ravni.
Aceasta-a fost pricina pentru care
Peste regatul de langa mare, veni
Un vant, ce, sufland dintr-un nor,
Ingheta pe frumoasa mea Annabel Lee.
Rude inalte o dusera, s-o-nchida-n mormant,
In regat langa mine, intre falcii.
Mai putin fericiti decat noi, ingerii
In rai s-au prins a ne pismui.
Aceast-a fost pricina, numai aceasta,
Precum toti oamenii stiu, ca vantul veni
Si-n regat sufland, cu inghet
Nimici pe-a mea Annabel Lee.
Dar mult mai tare-a fost dragostea noastra,
Decat dragostea tuturor, a tuturor celor vii
Mai varstnici, mai intelepti decat noi,
Nici ingerii sus, nici demonii jos, nu pot desparti
In cer si sub mare, sufletul meu
De sufletul mandrei Annabel Lee.
Caci luna niciodat’ nu luceste fara ca vis sa-mi aduca
Despre frumoasa Annabel Lee.
Niciodata stele rasar fara a-mi aminti
Ochii frumoasei Annabel Lee.
Si asa in mareea noptii eu zac
Langa draga mea, draga mea, viata si mireasa mea,
In mormantul ei langa mare,
Pe tarm, in mormantul fara faclii.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

T. S. Eliot,” Little Gidding”


Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable Zero summer?

If you came this way,
Taking the route you would be likely to take
From the place you would be likely to come from,
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges
White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.
It would be the same at the end of the journey,
If you came at night like a broken king,
If you came by day not knowing what you came for,
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade
And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
If at all. Either you had no purpose
Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places
Which also are the world’s end, some at the sea jaws,
Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city–
But this is the nearest, in place and time,
Now and in England.

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.
Dust inbreathed was a house-
The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,
The death of hope and despair,
This is the death of air.

There are flood and drouth
Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand
Contending for the upper hand.
The parched eviscerate soil
Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth.
This is the death of earth.

Water and fire succeed
The town, the pasture and the weed.
Water and fire deride
The sacrifice that we denied.
Water and fire shall rot
The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir.
This is the death of water and fire.

In the uncertain hour before the morning
Near the ending of interminable night
At the recurrent end of the unending
After the dark dove with the flickering tongue
Had passed below the horizon of his homing
While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin
Over the asphalt where no other sound was
Between three districts whence the smoke arose
I met one walking, loitering and hurried
As if blown towards me like the metal leaves
Before the urban dawn wind unresisting.
And as I fixed upon the down-turned face
That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk
I caught the sudden look of some dead master
Whom I had known, forgotten, half recalled
Both one and many; in the brown baked features
The eyes of a familiar compound ghost
Both intimate and unidentifiable.
So I assumed a double part, and cried
And heard another’s voice cry: „What! are you here?”
Although we were not. I was still the same,
Knowing myself yet being someone other–
And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficed
To compel the recognition they preceded.
And so, compliant to the common wind,
Too strange to each other for misunderstanding,
In concord at this intersection time
Of meeting nowhere, no before and after,
We trod the pavement in a dead patrol.
I said: „The wonder that I feel is easy,
Yet ease is cause of wonder. Therefore speak:
I may not comprehend, may not remember.”
And he: „I am not eager to rehearse
My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten.
These things have served their purpose: let them be.
So with your own, and pray they be forgiven
By others, as I pray you to forgive
Both bad and good. Last season’s fruit is eaten
And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.
But, as the passage now presents no hindrance
To the spirit unappeased and peregrine
Between two worlds become much like each other,
So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.
Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us
To purify the dialect of the tribe
And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight,
Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age
To set a crown upon your lifetime’s effort.
First, the cold fricton of expiring sense
Without enchantment, offering no promise
But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit
As body and sould begin to fall asunder.
Second, the conscious impotence of rage
At human folly, and the laceration
Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.
And last, the rending pain of re-enactment
Of all that you have done, and been; the shame
Of things ill done and done to others’ harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.
Then fools’ approval stings, and honour stains.
From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire
Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.”
The day was breaking. In the disfigured street
He left me, with a kind of valediction,
And faded on the blowing of the horn.


There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference
Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives – unflowering, between
The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:
For liberation – not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country
Begins as an attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance
Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,
History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,
The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,
To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.
Sin is Behovely, but
All shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well.
If I think, again, of this place,
And of people, not wholly commendable,
Of not immediate kin or kindness,
But of some peculiar genius,
All touched by a common genius,
United in the strife which divided them;
If I think of a king at nightfall,
Of three men, and more, on the scaffold
And a few who died forgotten
In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet,
Why should we celebrate
These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward
Nor is it an incantation
To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them
And those whom they opposed
Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party.
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us – a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.


The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one dischage from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.


What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Thomas Stearns Eliot,”The Waste Land”-”La terra desolata”



I. La sepoltura dei morti

Aprile è il più crudele dei mesi, genera
Lillà da terra morta, confondendo
Memoria e desiderio, risvegliando
Le radici sopite con la pioggia della primavera.
L’inverno ci mantenne al caldo, ottuse
Con immemore neve la terra, nutrì
Con secchi tuberi una vita misera.
L’estate ci sorprese, giungendo sullo Starnbergersee
Con uno scroscio di pioggia: noi ci fermammo sotto il colonnato,
E proseguimmo alla luce del sole, nel Hofgarten,
E bevemmo caffè, e parlammo un’ora intera.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
E quando eravamo bambini stavamo presso l’arciduca,
Mio cugino, che mi condusse in slitta,
E ne fui spaventata. Mi disse, Marie,
Marie, tieniti forte. E ci lanciammo giù.
Fra le montagne, là ci si sente liberi.
Per la gran parte della notte leggo, d’inverno vado nel sud.

Quali sono le radici che s’afferrano, quali i rami che crescono
Da queste macerie di pietra? Figlio dell’uomo,
Tu non puoi dire, né immaginare, perché conosci soltanto
Un cumulo d’immagini infrante, dove batte il sole,
E l’albero morto non dà riparo, nessun conforto lo stridere del grillo,
L’arida pietra nessun suono d’acque.
C’è solo ombra sotto questa roccia rossa,
(Venite all’ombra di questa roccia rossa),
E io vi mostrerò qualcosa di diverso
Dall’ombra vostra che al mattino vi segue a lunghi passi, o dall’ombra
Vostra che a sera incontro a voi si leva;
In una manciata di polvere vi mostrerò la paura.

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Iriscb Kind,
Wo weilest du?

Mi chiamarono la ragazza dei giacinti.”
– Eppure quando tornammo, a ora tarda, dal giardino dei giacinti,
Tu con le braccia cariche, con i capelli madidi, io non potevo
Parlare, mi si annebbiavano gli occhi, non ero
Né vivo né morto, e non sapevo nulla, mentre guardavo il silenzio,
Il cuore della luce.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, chiaroveggente famosa,
Aveva preso un brutto raffreddore, ciononostante
E’ nota come la donna più saggia d’Europa,
Con un diabolico mazzo di carte. Ecco qui, disse,
La vostra carta, il Marinaio Fenicio Annegato
(Quelle sono le perle che furono i suoi occhi. Guardate!)
E qui è la Belladonna, la Dama delle Rocce,
La Dama delle situazioni.
Ecco qui l’uomo con le tre aste, ecco la Ruota,
E qui il mercante con un occhio solo, e questa carta,
Che non ha figura, è qualcosa che porta sul dorso,
E che a me non è dato vedere. Non trovo
L’Impiccato. Temete la morte per acqua.
Vedo turbe di gente che cammina in cerchio.
Grazie. Se vedete la cara Mrs. Equitone,
Ditele che le porterò l’oroscopo io stessa:
Bisogna essere così prudenti in questi giorni.

Città irreale,
Sotto la nebbia bruna di un’alba d’inverno,
Una gran folla fluiva sopra il London Bridge, così tanta,
Ch’io non avrei mai creduto che morte tanta n’avesse disfatta.
Sospiri, brevi e infrequenti, se ne esalavano,
E ognuno procedeva con gli occhi fissi ai piedi. Affluivano
Su per il colle e giù per la King William Street,
Fino a dove Saint Mary Woolnoth segnava le ore
Con morto suono sull’ultimo tocco delle nove.
Là vidi uno ch e conoscevo, e lo fermai, gridando: « Stetson!
Tu che eri con me , sulle navi a Milazzo!
Quel cadavere che l’anno scorso piantasti nel giardino,
Ha cominciato a germogliare? Fiorirà quest’anno?
Oppure il gelo improvviso ne ha danneggiato l’aiola?
Oh, tieni il Cane a distanza, che è amico dell’uomo,
Se non vuoi che con l’unghie, di nuovo, lo metta allo scoperto!
Tu, hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frère!

-traduzione di Roberto Sanesi-


I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

Else Lasker- Schuler,”Atât de tăcut visez despre tine”–”Ich träume so leise von Dir”

Mereu vin în zori culori care dor:
Sunt ca sufletul tău.

O, la tine mi-e gândul, şi
Atât de trişti, ochii-nfloresc pretutindeni.

Ţi-am spus povestea marilor stele.
Dar tu ai privit spre pământ.

Din creştetul meu se-nalţa noaptea.
Nu ştiu încotro s-o apuc.

Atât de tăcut visez despre tine.
A şi început să se-aştearnă pe ochii mei alba mătasă.

De ce n-ai lăsat pentru mine
Pamântul- spune-mi ?
Immer kommen am Morgen schmerzliche Farben,
Die sind wie deine Seele.

O, ich muß an dich denken,
Und überall blühen so traurige Augen.

Und ich habe dir doch von großen Sternen erzählt,
Aber du hast zur Erde gesehn.

Nächte wachsen aus meinem Kopf,
Ich weiß nicht wo ich hin soll.

Ich träume so leise von dir,
Weiß hängt die Seide schon über meinen Augen.

Warum hast du nicht um mich

Die Erde gelassen – sage?