Eugenio Montale


translated by Alan Tucker


La rana, prima a ritentar la corda
dallo stagno che affossa
giunchi e nubi, stormire dei carrubi
conserti dove spenge le sue fiaccole
un sole senza caldo, tardo ai fiori
ronzo di coleotteri che suggono
ancora linfe, ultimi suoni, avara
vita della campagna. Con un soffio
l'ora s'estingue: un cielo di lavagna
si prepara a un irrompere di scarni
cavalli, alle scintille degli zoccoli.


It's the frog first starts to croak again
from the stagnant pond misted
with rushes, haze and the rustle of
interlaced carobs: a sun without warmth
quenches its rays a lume spento late flowers
still abuzz with coleoptera greedilly sucking
at their sap, the ultimate life sound
of the fields. With a puff of breath
the hour is over. Like a blackboard the sky
prepares itself for the irruption of starved
horses, sparks flying from their hooves.





NOTE: (insects) - he says coleotera beetles - but in English the sounds are wrong. Are the kinds of beetles that buzz the ones that suck sap? I changed to insects & settled for coleoptera 'the order of insects with elytra', (hard wing cases) which includes beetles.


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