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This poem is taken from PN Review 174, Volume 33 Number 4, March - April 2007.

from Thinking about Montale by the River Hull Carol Rumens

Note: the poems in this sequence are not translations. They were suggested variously by a word, phrase, symbol or image found in the work of Eugenio Montale. Quotations in translation are drawn from various sources, chiefly Collected Poems, 1920 - 1954, translated by Jonathan Galassi.

                ' ...La voglia
di risalire gli anni, di sconfiggere
il pieveloce Crono con mille astuzie.'

                 '...The yearning
to re-trace the years and defeat
fleet-footed Chronos with a thousand ruses.'
                                  ('Doppo una Fuga', Satura II, tr. William Arrowsmith)


Between Two Wars

Roots are not easily killed, in spite of tank-tracks
and trenches; birds, years later, perch above battle-fields.
What if in city courtyards the grey grass almost mocks
its own entitlement? All poetry yields
...


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