Gregory Dowling is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His academic publications include a study of American narrative poetry, a guide to Byron’s Venice and a co-edited anthology of American poetry about Venice. His most recent book is a study of the poetry of David Mason (Story Line Press, 2013). His non-academic publications include four thrillers, set in England and Italy, the sightseeing sections of the Time Out Guide to Venice and numerous translations from Italian into English. He is a member of the committee for the new Lord Byron Museum to be opened in Palazzo Guiccioli, Ravenna, in 2016.
NOTE: All poems translated from the original Italian into English by Gregory Dowling.
by Giovanni Pascoli
Cantava al buio d’aia in aia il gallo.
E gracidò nel bosco la cornacchia:
il sole si mostrava a finestrelle.
Il sol dorò la nebbia della macchia,
poi si nascose; e piovve a catinelle.
Poi fra il cantare delle raganelle
guizzò sui campi un raggio lungo e giallo.
Stuipìano i rondinotti dell’estate
di quel sottile scendere di spille:
era un brusìo con languide sorsate
e chiazze larghe e picchi a mille a mille;
poi singhiozzi, e gocciar rado di stille:
di stille d’oro in coppe di cristallo.
In still dark farms cocks crowed in sallies.
And rooks creaked out their cackling caw:
The sun through clouds peeped now and then
And gilt the mist that swathed the moor,
Then hid, washed out by drenching rain.
And as the tree-frogs croaked again
A shaft of light shone down the valleys.
The summer swallows sliced the air,
Thrilled by the fine, pin-bright cascade:
The hubbub, drumming everywhere
On sodden fields, began to fade
To pattering, till the tune was played
By pearls pick-pocking a crystal chalice.