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This poem is taken from PN Review 260, Volume 47 Number 6, July - August 2021.

Three Poems translated by Patrick Worsnip
‘Ulysses’ and other poems
Umberto Saba
Winter Noon

In that moment just when I was happy
(God forgive me a word so vast, portentous),
who pushed my short-lived bliss almost to tears?
You’ll say: ‘Some pretty creature who passed by
and smiled at you.’ No, a balloon, a wandering
turquoise balloon in the air’s blueness,
and my native sky never so resplendent
as on that clear, cold winter noon.
A sky with just a few white wisps of cloud,
the house windows flaring in the sun,
the thin smoke of one or two chimneys,
and over all these things, God-given things,
that globe that had slipped from a boy’s
careless hand (he for sure was weeping out
his pain, his terrible pain, amid the crowd)

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