GIUSEPPE UNGARETTI
da Il Taccuino del Vecchio
translated by Lynne Lawner


  4.

We rush to some end.
Who can recognize it?

Astray in diverse seas, it is not
Ithaca we dream of; our aim’s
Through deserts towards Sinai
Indexing monotonous days.

 



5.

We scour the desert, remnants
In the mind of an earlier seen image.

No living thing knows else
Of the Promised Land.

 



6.

If the journey lasted forever
It would last but an instant. Death’s
Already there a little ahead.

One broken second -
Life on earth’s no more than this.

Broken up at the summit of some Sinai
Law starts over for those left, the illusion
Goes on getting crueler.


 

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