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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Forma e Poesia /Poetry and Form

Nicolas Poussin, The Exposition of Moses, 1654

Let the Greek mould his clay
 to the forms he’s planned,
 and take increasing pleasure
 in the product of his hands:
 but to us it’s blissful when
 we clutch at the Euphrates,
 and in the flowing element,
 swish to and fro, with ease.
Quenching, so, my burning soul,
 I’ll utter what I feel:
 gathered in the poet’s pure hand
 the waters will congeal.

Impronti pure a forme
 il greco la sua creta;
 cresca, davanti al figlio
 delle sue mani, l’estasi.
Ma la nostra delizia
 è attingere all’ Eufrate:
 vagare in lungo e in largo
 nel liquido elemento.
Se in questo modo estinguo
 i bruciori dell’anima,
 echeggia una canzone;
 se l’attinge il poeta
 con mani pure, l’acqua
 si inarca e si fa sfera.