Giovanni Pascoli

(31 December 1855 - 6 April 1912 / San Mauro di Romagna)

XXIII. The Truth

And there was a flowering garden in the sea,
in a sea glossy as the sky; and a song
of two Sirens did not resound yet,
because the meadow was distant.
And the old hero felt a strong premonition,
a current running in the calm sea,
pushing the boat toward the Sirens;
and he told the men to raise their oars:
“The ship turns away from them now, friends!
But don't worry that the roar of the rowing
disturbs the songs of the Sirens. By now
we should hear them. Listen to the song
calmly, your arms on the oarlocks.”
And the current running quiet and smooth
pushes the ship forward more and more.
And the godlike Odysseus sees at the top
of the blooming island, the Sirens,
stretched out among the flowers, heads
erect, upright on idle elbows, watching
the rosy sun rising across from them;
watching, motionless; and their long shadows
were stripes across the island of flowers.
'Are you sleeping? The dawn has passed
already. Already eyes under delicate brows
look for the sun. Sirens, I am still mortal.
I heard you, but I could not stop.”
And the current ran on, quiet and smooth,
pushing the ship forward more and more.
And the old man sees the two Sirens,
their eyebrows raised high above their pupils,
gazing straight ahead, at the fixed sun,
or at him, in his black ship.
And over the unchanging calm of the sea,
a voice rises from him, deep and sure,
'I am he! I’ve returned, to learn!
I am here, as you see me now.
Yes; all that I see in the world
regards me; questions me: asks me what I am.”
And the current ran on, quiet and smooth,
pushing the ship forward more and more.
And the old man sees a great pile of bones
men's bones, and shriveled skin near them,
close to the Sirens, stretched out,
motionless, on the shore, like two reefs.
“I see. Let it be. You may be innocent. But
how much this hard pile of bones
has grown. Speak, you two.
Tell me the truth, to me alone,
of all men, before I doubt that I have lived!”
And the current ran on, quiet and smooth,
pushing the ship forward more and more.
And the ship thrust itself high, and above,
the brows of the two Sirens with the fixed eyes looked on.
'I will have but a moment. I beg
you! At least tell me what I am, what I will be.”
And between the two reefs the ship was shattered.

Submitted: Saturday, December 31, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (XXIII. The Truth by Giovanni Pascoli )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. The Highwayman, Alfred Noyes
[Hata Bildir]