Salvatore Quasimodo – Rifugio d’uccelli notturni/A Refuge of Nocturnal Birds

Henri-Joseph Harpignies, Moonlight, 1889

High on a cliff there’s a twisted pine;
intently it listens into the abyss
with its trunk curved down like a crossbow.
A refuge of nocturnal birds,
in the deepest hours of midnight it resounds
with the swift fluttering of wings.
Even my heart has a nest
suspended into the darkness, and a voice;
it, too, lies awake listening at night.

(Transl. by Andres Melo Cousineau)

In alto c’è un pino distorto;
sta intento ed ascolta l’abisso
col fusto piegato a balestra.
Rifugio d’uccelli notturni,
nell’ora più alta risuona
d’un battere d’ali veloce.
Ha pure un suo nido il mio cuore
sospeso nel buio, una voce;
sta pure in ascolto, la notte.