A poem by Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele D'Annunzio

Denis from Cosenza in Italy sent this beautiful poem to my husband at his Red Hand Files. He loved it and he read it to me over breakfast. It is so intensely hypnotic. It has haunted us all day. Denis, I hope you don’t mind me stealing it for the Stuff Page. It made our day! Thank you! Love, Susie.

The Rain in the Pinewood

Be silent.
At the edge
of the woods I do not hear
the human words you say;
I hear new words
spoken by droplets and leaves
far away.
Listen.
It rains from the scattered clouds.
It rains on the briny, burned
tamarisk,
it rains on the pine trees
scaly and rough,
it rains on the divine
myrtle,
on the bright ginestra flowers
gathered together,
on the junipers full of
fragrant berries,
it rains on our sylvan faces,
it rains on our bare hands
on our light clothes,
on the fresh thoughts
that our soul, renewed,
liberates,
on the beautiful fable
that beguiled you yesterday,
that beguiles me today,
oh Hermione.
Can you hear?
The rain falls
on the solitary vegetation
with a crackling noise that lasts
and varies in the air
according to the thicker,
less thick foliage.
Listen.
With their singing, the cicadas
are answering this weeping,
this southern wind weeping
that does not frighten them,
and nor does the grey sky.
And the pine tree
has a sound, the myrtle
another one, the juniper
yet another, different
instruments
under countless fingers.
And we are immersed
in the sylvan spirit,
living the same
sylvan life;
and your inebriated face
is soft from the rain,
like a leaf,
and your hair is
is fragrant like the light
ginestra flowers,
oh terrestrial creature
called Hermione.
Listen, listen.
The song of the flying cicadas
becomes fainter and fainter
as the weeping grows stronger;
but a rougher song
rises from afar,
and flows in
from the humid remote shadow.
Softer and softer
gets weaker, fades away.
One lonely note
still trembles, fades away.
No one can hear the voice of the sea.
Now you can hear the silver rain
pouring in
on the foliage,
rain that purifies,
its roar that varies
according to the thicker,
less thick foliage.
Listen.
The child of the air is silent;
but the child
of the miry swamp, the frog,
far away,
sings in the deepest of shadows
who knows where, who knows where!
And it rains on your lashes,
Hermione.
It rains on your black lashes
as if you were weeping,
weeping from joy; not white
but almost green,
you seem to come out of the bark.
And life is in us fresh
and fragrant,
the heart in our chests is like a peach
untouched
under the eyelids our eyes
are like springs in the grass
and the teeth in our mouths
green almonds.
And we go from thicket to thicket,
at a time together, at a time apart
(the vegetation, thick and vigorous,
entwines our ankles
entangles our knees)
who knows where, who knows where!
And it rains on our sylvan faces,
it rains on our bare hands
on our light clothes,
on the fresh thoughts
that our soul, renewed, liberates,
on the beautiful fable
that beguiled me yesterday,
that beguiles you today,
oh Hermione. 

By Gabriele D’Annuzio


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