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This poem is taken from PN Review 164, Volume 31 Number 6, July - August 2005.

Sixteen Poems (translated by Geoffrey Brock) Umberto Saba

From Casa e campagna / Home and Countryside (1909-10)

The Sapling

Today is made of rain.
Late morning looks like evening,
spring like autumn,
and a great wind is blasting
a sapling that holds - surprisingly - steady;
it stands above the plants like a boy
grown too tall for his green age.
You watch, filled with pity
perhaps for all those pale flowers
stripped by the gales; they are fruit,
they are winter's sweet
preserves, those flowers that fall now
to the grass. And you grieve in your vast
maternity.
...


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