Summer

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And it grows, the vain

summer,

even for us with our

bright green sins:


behold the dry guest,

the wind,

as it stirs up quarrels

among magnolia boughs


and plays its serene

tune on

the prows of all the leaves—

and then is gone,


leaving the leaves

still there,

the tree still green, but breaking

the heart of the air.


by Carlo Betocchi (1899–1986)

Translation by Geoffrey Brock


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