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This poem is taken from PN Review 61, Volume 14 Number 5, May - June 1988.

Poems (translated by E.J. Scovell) Giovanni Pascoli


The air so spangled, sun so brilliant,
You turn towards the apricots to find
A flower there still, and the whitethorn's bitter scent
           Rises in your mind.

But dry the thorn, the trees are stark as dead;
With their black mesh they score the empty air.
Earth underfoot sounds hollow to the tread
           And the sky is bare

And silence everywhere; only in gusts
From distant gardens where the leaves are shed
You hear the fragile falling. Time of ghosts,
           Cold summer of the dead.

They are Ploughing

In the morning fields, where fiery red a spray
Of vine still burns in the hedge-row, and from bushes
The early mist like smoke is flowing away,

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