Literary Agrigento:

Salvatore Quasimodo

Agrigentum road (Strada di Agrigentum)

There a wind endures that I remember

kindled in the manes of horses

racing aslant across the plains, a wind

that stains and scars the sandstone

and the heart of mournful telamones toppled

on the grass. Aged soul, grey with rancor

return to that wind, breathe in

the delicate musk that clothes

the giants cast down by heaven.

How alone in the space that’s left to you!

And more do you grieve if still you hear

the sound that drifts toward the sea

where Hesperus trails at early morn

the jew’s harp’s melanchonic twang

in the throat of the cartman

who slowly ascends the moon-cleansed hill

mid the murmur of moorish olive trees.

Salvatore Quasimodo – translation by Prof. Micheal Campo – Trinity College-Hartford CT