Friday, June 27, 2008

Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes by Cesare Pavese

Cesare Pavese's "Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes" was among the poems found in his desk after his suicide. Considering the circumstances, it's strikingly haunting.


Death will come and will have your eyes—
this death that accompanies us
from morning till evening, unsleeping,
deaf, like an old remorse
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a useless word,
a suppressed cry, a silence.
That’s what you see each morning
when alone with yourself you lean
toward the mirror. O precious hope,
that day we too will know
that you are life and you are nothingness.

Death has a look for everyone.
Death will come and will have your eyes.
It will be like renouncing a vice,
like seeing a dead face reappear in the mirror,
like listening to a lip that’s shut.
We’ll go down into the maelstrom mute.

--Translated by Geoffrey Brock


Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), a poet, novelist and critic, was a major Italian author of the 20th Century.

17 Comments:

Blogger ~angelique~ said...

So many talented, artistic, creative, & intelligent people commit suicide. I don't understand it. My Mother was talented and she too committed suicide. She even had her Master's degree. She had a drawing of her face with a gun, that she did years before her suicide. Ironically thats how she did it- with a gun. Crazy. Also, Van Goge was very creative -his life ending in suicide. Thanks for sharing.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Chandini said...

That was mindblowing!
He must have been pummeled by existentialist thoughts.

12:40 PM  
Blogger The Passenger said...

One of the most beautiful italian poem....great Pavese!....if i can, i'd like to suggest U also to read a novelist too...Italo Calvino....Cheers!

4:32 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

wow...i think you pretty much said it all. ~"strikingly haunting."

10:14 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

absolutely gorgeous and terrifying.

3:01 PM  
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Blogger Moz_Lyrics_Saul09 said...

"your eyes will become a useless word" Wow!

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Blogger G. said...

The English translation is not quite good. The Italian word 'sorda' is translated here by 'deaf'. In the context it should be 'hidden' or 'secret'.

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Anonymous ladi said...

hi, i love this last poem although it is much more beautiful in original language,
yes he was a great poet and a great novelist. i have read his works quite all of them, i adore him, i even learned Italian because of him!
but,, hey! what's that profile photo? no offend but what's the point?

3:59 PM  

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