Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"the still point of reality..."

You realize that in silences
things yield and almost betray
their ultimate secrets.
At times, one half expects
to discover an error in Nature,
the still point of reality,
the missing link that will not hold,
the thread we cannot untangle
in order to get at the truth.

You look around. Your mind seeks,
makes harmonies, falls apart
in the perfume, expands
when the day wearies away.
There are silences in which one watches
in every fading human shadow
something divine let go.

From "The Lemon Trees" by Eugenio Montale, translated by Lee Gerlach. The complete poem is here.


Mary said...

I love that!

Tommasina said...

Maria, I love Montale; I studied his "Ossi di Seppia" (Cuttlefish Bones) at university, and even translated a few lines of his, here and there, for a dictionary of quotations. Great stuff.

BitterGrace said...

Mary, I thought you might share my liking for this one.

I am just discovering the Hermetic poets, Tommasina. Montale is wonderful. Any suggestions for best translations?