from The Diaries

It would be so easy to unveil
this light or this shadow . . . One word,
and the life that lives alone in me,
beneath the voices every man invents
to get closer to fugitive
truths, would be expressed at last.
But no such word exists.
If, however, in the din rising up
from the streets I hear a sound slightly
clearer than the rest—or if I inhale
among the season’s scents a sharper breath
of leaves, awash with rain, then,
by suggestion, my ineffable life
looms before me, for only an instant . . .
And I can’t bear it . . . But one day,
oh, one day, that sight will make me shout,
and my shout will be a revelation . . .


From The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, edited and translated by Stephen Sartarelli. Published by University Of Chicago Press. Translation Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Sartarelli. Used with permission of the author.