Primo Levi

(1919 - 1987 / Turin / Italy)

To My Friends - Poem by Primo Levi

Dear friends, and here I say friends
the broad sense of the word:
Wife, sister, associates, relatives,
Schoolmates of both sexes,
People seen only once
Or frequented all my life;
Provided that between us, for at least a moment,
A line has been stretched,
A well-defined bond.
I speak for you, companions of a crowded
Road, not without its difficulties,
And for you too, who have lost
Soul, courage, the desire to live;
Or no one, or someone, or perhaps only one person, or you
Who are reading me: remember the time
Before the wax hardened,
When everyone was like a seal.
Each of us bears the imprint
Of a friend met along the way;
In each the trace of each.
For good or evil
In wisdom or in folly
Everyone stamped by everyone.
Now that the time crowds in
And the undertakings are finished,
To all of you the humble wish
That autumn will be long and mild.


Comments about To My Friends by Primo Levi

  • Fabrizio Frosini (9/12/2015 8:36:00 AM)

    ITALIAN TEXT:

    AI MIEI AMICI

    Cari amici: qui dico amici
    nel vasto senso della parola:
    moglie, sorella, sodali, parenti,
    compagne e compagni di scuola;
    persone viste una volta sola
    o praticate per tutta la vita
    purché a noi, per almeno un momento,
    sia, stato teso un segmento,
    una corda ben definita.

    Dico per voi, compagni d'un cammino
    folto, non privo di fatica,
    e per voi pure, che avete perduto
    l'anima, l'animo, la voglia di vita.
    O nessuno, o qualcuno, o forse uno solo, o tu
    che mi leggi: ricorda il tempo,
    prima che s'indurisse la cera,
    quando ognuno era come un sigillo.
    Di noi ciascuno reca l'impronta
    dell'amico incontrato per via;
    in ognuno la traccia di ognuno.
    Per il bene od il male
    in saggezza o in follia
    ognuno stampato da ognuno.

    Ora che il tempo urge da presso,
    che le imprese sono finite,
    a voi tutti l'augurio sommesso
    che l'autunno sia lungo e mite.

    (Primo Levi)
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 30, 2011



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