Here is my adaptation of “Veglia,” a short poem by the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. The poem was translated into English by Marco Sonzogni and Ross Woods, two professors at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.
Ungaretti (1888-1970) was one of the most innovative and influential Italian poets of the twentieth century, one of the originators of ermetismo (“Hermeticism”), the current of poetry with which Salvatore Quasimodo (one of whose poem I adapted earlier) is also associated. Ungaretti had greeted Italy’s entry into World War I with enthusiasm, and enrolled as a volunteer. The brutal realities of life and death in the trenches quickly caused him to become disillusioned with the war, however, and also moved him to write his celebrated war poems. (click on image to enlarge)