Eugenio Montale


translated by Alan Tucker


Addii, fischi nel buio, cenni, tosse
e sportelli abbassati. l'ora. Forse
gli automi hanno ragione. Come appaiono
dai corridoi, murati!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Presti anche tu alla fioca
litania del tuo rapido quest'orrida
e fedele cadenza di carioca?


Goodbyes, whistles in the dark (ironic)
cheers, a stranger coughing, lowered windows,
the time's come. Maybe the morons
will eat their words, walled in by the macaronic.

Or do you also defend this redoubt
go partying and to dances, rock a-
round, as one does, for the most part,
exit to the wretched cadenza of the carioca?




NOTE: macaronic: (of verse) characterised by a mixture of words jumbled together with Latinized or other words of foreign origin. 'Mario Praz writes in his autobiography, La Casa della Vita, that he used to delight in exchanging with Montale, 'poems in macaronic English' parodying Pound and Eliot'. (see introduction to Penguin anthology). I was delighted to find this note when compiling these notes.


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