Linh Dinh

Rookie - 0 Points (1963 / Saigon, Vietnam)


Poem by Linh Dinh

Man and woman watch each other lying in bed:
their two bodies stretched out wide and exhausted.
the man is still, only the woman takes long breaths
that quiver her ribs. The legs distended
are bony and knotted in the man's. The whispers
from the sun-covered street are foisted on them.

The air hangs impalpable in the heavy shadow
and freezes the drops of living sweat
on the lips. The gazes from the adjoining heads
are identical, but they no longer find each other's bodies
as when they first embraced. They nearly touch.

The woman's lips move a little, but do not speak.
The breathing that swells the ribs stops
at the longest gaze from the man. The woman
turns her face close to the man's, lips to lips.
But the man's gaze does not change in the shadow.

Heavy and still weigh the eyes within eyes
at the warmth of the breath that revives the sweat,
desolate. The woman does not move her body,
supple and alive. The lips of the man come close
but the still gaze does not change in the shadow.

(A translation of Cesare Pavese's Due/translated from the Italian by Linh Dinh)

Comments about Two by Linh Dinh

  • Linh Dinh (8/3/2007 8:52:00 PM)

    Hi Denis Joe,

    The flatness, nearly mechanical tone reflects the post-coital withdrawal he's describing, a condition I know only too well! There's no direction left but to roll over and fall asleep and, perchance, to dream hard.(Report)Reply

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  • Joseph Daly (8/3/2007 8:46:00 PM)

    This is, for me, the satisfactory of the Pavese pieces. It is beautiful, but seems to lack any direction.(Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Poem Edited: Sunday, March 13, 2011