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Review: The Night Fountain, by Salvatore Quasimodo

Stella Stocker, The Weyfarers 109 December 2010

The Night Fountain translated by Marco Sonzogni and Gerald Dawe, comprises selected early poems by Salvatore Quasimodo. As a major Sicilian poet and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, it is interesting to see the fresh and beguiling earlier poems, the translations of which work well in English. The Soul the airy batiste apron
with sacred gesture spread seeds,

You have to love her with a pure eye,
when her naked feet skim the earth
and the sun burns the silk of her hair;
because the earth is her temple
and the sun is her lord.

Even more lush is:

The scent of an orange blossom, an enchanted night fountain,
I call you with the names of the most delicate flowers
when sleep escapes me -
my bread with the white cross -

all stars and snow...

from The Night Fountain