Thursday, November 17, 2016

Umberto Saba / Ulysses

by Umberto Saba
Translated by Geoffrey Brock

Once in my younger days I sailed the length
of the Dalmation coast. Islets of rock
lilied the surface of the water, perches
for the occasional bird intent on food.
The rocks were slick and algae-draped and bright
as emeralds in the sun, but when high tide
or night concealed them, any sail with wind
would veer toward deeper water to avert
their treachery. And now I am the king
of no man’s land. The harbor-lights are lit
for others; I again turn to the sea,
still driven by an unextinguished spirit,
by this excruciating love for life.

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