Thursday, September 10, 2015


It doesn't happen every day to see a real poem written on a rolling shutter: Trillian and I found this on our way to the supermarket, in Via Bernardina. “L'infinito” (The Infinite) is one of the most famous poems written by one of our greatest poets: Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837).
L'infinito, The Infinite by Giacomo Leopardi, Via Bernardina, Livorno

Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
e questa siepe, che da tanta parte
dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
silenzi, e profondissima quiete
io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
infinito silenzio a questa voce
vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
e le morte stagioni, e la presente
e viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa
immensità s’annega il pensier mio:
e il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.
(Giacomo Leopardi, 1819) 
The Infinite

This lonely hill was always dear to me,
and this hedgerow, which cuts off the view
of so much of the last horizon.
But sitting here and gazing, I can see
beyond, in my mind’s eye, unending spaces,
and superhuman silences, and depthless calm,
till what I feel
is almost fear. And when I hear
the wind stir in these branches, I begin
comparing that endless stillness with this noise:
and the eternal comes to mind,
and the dead seasons, and the present
living one, and how it sounds.
So my mind sinks in this immensity:
and floundering is sweet in such a sea.

(Translated by Jonathan Galassi)

You will find several more English translations following the Wikipedia link.

External links: L'infinito - Giacomo Leopardi (Wikipedia)


Michelle said...

That is quite a find!

William Kendall said...

Very vivid imagery in the poem.

Lois said...

Lovely poem. It is interesting that someone felt the need to write it on the shutter.

Birdman said...

A strange place to 'discover' the lines.

Halcyon said...

That's a beautiful poem. A tender soul must live/work behind this shutter.

Karl Demetz said...

Strange place for a poem, but not so bad...

EG CameraGirl said...

It does make me wonder who lives on the other side of this shutter. I think I would like the person.

Luis Gomez said...

How nice!

Sharon Anck said...

What a wonderful find and a truly beautiful poem.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

A wonderful and unexpected find VP.

Lowell said...

Powerful poem. That's what I want, superhuman silences and depthless calm!

Stefan Jansson said...

Nice find.

RedPat said...

That's wonderful!

Linda said...

That's a long piece for someone to put on a shutter. Nowadays they'd just post it online.

Gunn said...

What a nice find!

Dina said...

Somebody really liked that poem, to share it like that.
The English does not sound like a translation. Very nice.

Arianna said...

Miticooo! Arianna