Monday, 22 February 2016

Poetry Revisited: Tedio invernale – Winter Weariness by Giosuè Carducci

Tedio invernale

(da Rime nuove: 1887)

Ma ci fu dunque un giorno
Su questa terra il sole?
Ci fur rose e viole,
Luce, sorriso, ardor?

Ma ci fu dunque un giorno
La dolce giovinezza,
La gloria e la bellezza,
Fede, virtude, amor?

Ciò forse avvenne a i tempi
D'Omero e di Valmichi:
Ma quei son tempi antichi,
Il sole or non è piú.

E questa ov'io m'avvolgo
Nebbia di verno immondo
È il cenere d'un mondo
Che forse un giorno fu. 

Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907)
poeta e scrittore italiano;
Premio Nobel per la letteratura 1906

Winter Weariness

(from New Rhymes: 1887)

Were there then roses once
On earth and violets bright?
Did the sun give warmth and light
From a smiling Heaven above?

Was there a golden Time
When all the world was young,
When youth and maiden sung
Of Valour, Faith, and Love?

Perchance such times there were,
Old poets have it so;
But that was long ago,
And no sun shines to-day.

And these unlovely fogs
By winter round me curled
Are the ashes of a world
That hath long since passed away.

Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907)
Italian poet and writer; Nobel Prize in Literature 1906

Translated by Geoffrey Langdale Bickersteth, M. A.
in CARDUCCI: A Selection of his Poems, with
Verse Translations, Notes, and Three Introductory Essays
Longmans, Green and Co., London 1913


  1. Lord knows what Carducci might have written about winter had he been from the north of Finland instead of from sunny Tuscany (nice poem, though!).

    1. That's true! If he felt like this about winter in his corner, how desperate would winters in the Austrians mountains or somewhere close to the Arctic Circle made him... It's all a matter of perspective.


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