But Where To

by | Sep 16, 2014 | Poetry

By Mario Luzi (1914-2005), translated by Anne Greeott.

“The heart of your city – it’s gone now,”
 a voice slips in and trails off
into the maze, dark now
except for a liquid light
of raw spring just visible
over the high roofs.
I don’t know what to say, and watch
the bees in this ancient walled-in garden —
gilders of angels, cabinetmakers,
metal smiths and ebony carvers —
close up the old chambers one by one
and set out a little happy and a little afraid into the alleyways.
“It’s gone, but where to?” I wonder
while the unplanned and the required
tangle the mind’s eye
and I think of myself and my friends, of the halting
talk with those souls sentenced
to a life that amounts to little, their trackless
swarm of thoughts in search of a way.
Some let go, some hang on to that hard-kept faith.

from In Magma (1963)


Photo By: Desmond Kavanagh

About The Author

Mario Luzi

Mario Luzi (20 October 1914 – 28 February 2005) was a key figure in poetry in Italy in the 20th century. The poet of Florence was a “senator for life” and considered the last great protagonist of Hermeticism.