“Non sparire nell’azzurro” by Alda Merini (1931 – 2009)
Don’t disappear into the blue,
one day I saw your hanging corpse
fixed in space, it seemed to be singing,
and two vesper fangs,
fox red, that had taken from you
all of the church’s solace.
Don’t dig up the horizons,
sometimes there are locks, then marshland…
and you were hiding inside the auspices
of dementia, you know, that vibrated
inside the cords of your Creator.
You left a lira as your ascetic
exchange, this dusty lira
has no value in a foreign land,
can only change itself in Paradise.
Translated by Chiara Frenquellucci and Gwendolyn Jensen
Alda Merini (1931-2009) was born and died in Milan. She published more than 60 collections of poems in her lifetime and was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize.
Chiara Frenquellucci was born in Rome and has been teaching language and literature for over twenty years. She has published articles on Italian theater, fiction, opera and poetry, a critical edition of 17th c. librettos, as well as textbooks and multimedia eBooks.
Gwendolyn Jensen began writing poems when she retired from the presidency of Wilson College (Chambersburg, PA) in 2001. She has published two volumes of poems, and a third will be out in 2017. Birch Brook Press is her publisher.