I was born on the twentyfirst in Spring
but did not know that being born a fool,
unearthing the soil
could sow storms.
And so fair Proserpina
watches it rain on fields,
on the giant gentle wheats
and always cries at night.
Maybe that’s her prayer.
[Original Italian by Alda Merini, ‘Sono nata il 21 a primavera’]
I fall for the song’s strength:
if only I could conquer the earth
with my poems and make it tremble
beneath the poetry of song.
So I seed words, a watchful
sower of meagre clumps of soil
and still someone will rise to listen
one with a secret song in their heart
one who unravels, for a while, the spool
of their lively imagination.
[Original Italian by Alda Merini, ‘Il volume del canto‘.]