“Elderly Tears” by Leonardo Sinisgalli

Poems read aloud, beautifully


Amanda Holmes reads Leonardo Sinisgalli’s poem, “Elderly Tears,” both in the original Italian and in her own translation.Have a suggestion for a poem? Email us: podcast@theamericanscholar.org. If we select your entry, you’ll win a copy of a poetry collection edited by David Lehman.

Elderly Tears
translated by Amanda Holmes

The old find crying easy.
In broad daylight
in a hidden corner of the empty house
they break into tears
caught by the surprise
of infinite despair.
They bring to their lips
a sliver of dried pear
the pulp of a fig cooked on tiles.
Even a sip of water
can quench a crisis as can
the visit of a little snail.

Pianto antico
by Leonardo Sinisgalli

I vecchi hanno il pianto facile.
In pieno meriggio
in un nascondiglio della casa vuota
scoppiano in lacrime seduti.
Li coglie di sorpresa
una disperazione infinita.
Portano alle labbra uno spicchio
secco di pera, la polpa
di un fico cotto sulle tegole.
Anche un sorso d’acqua
può spegnere una crisi
e la visita di una lumachina.

This episode was produced by Stephanie Bastek and features the song “Canvasback” by Chad Crouch.

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Amanda Holmes, the author of the novel I Know Where I Am When I’m Falling, is a columnist and poetry editor for the Washington Independent Review of Books.


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