Haul your paper ships on the seared
shore, little captain,
and sleep, so you won't hear
the evil spirits setting sail in swarms.
In the kitchen garden the owl darts
and wet smoke hangs heavy on the roofs.
The moment that ruins the slow work of months
is here: now it cracks in secret, now shears with a gust.
The break is coming: maybe with no sound.
The builder knows his day of reckoning.
Only the grounded board is safe for now.
Tie up your flotilla in the canes.
from Collected Poems 1920-1954
Bilingual Edition, translated by Jonathan Galassi
I have spent the weekend in the cool house, hiding from these last
few dog days of ninety degree temps, curled up in my recliner with
some of my brand new poetry books and a perfect tall glass of plain
iced tea with crushed ice. This Collected Poems, by Eugenio Montale
is especially nice and I have marked some of my favorites to share
with you in future posts. Like I mentioned the other day, I am
missing the brilliant beauty of the Italian lyrics, but his poetry is so
dense and deep it stands on it's own, even without the lovely rhythms.
~~photo by Benjamin Probanza, Flickr