From “I luoghi persi” (“Lost places”)

Umberto Piersanti


It snows, but it’s sleet,

indefinite, which only in places

whitens these low

hills, the sea rims them

and hems them with its grey blue,

now on the Cesane

the roe deer run

in the luminous fields,

the wolf sinks

his slender paws

into the dense whiteness,

the sumacs stand bowed

beneath the great weight,

silver the fir

high in the sky,

the blue-eyed forebear

is at the spring

and with her bare hand

cracks the ice,

fills the pitcher with water

the coldest,

then slowly makes her way

towards the house


I had never understood

where the soul comes from among the thorns

but the soul is small, made of air,

it passes between the thorns and is not scratched