Cesare Pavese

(9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950 / Santo Stefano Belbo)

Black Earth Red Earth


Black earth red earth,
you come from the sea,
from the arid green,
where there are ancient
words and bloody toil
and geranium among rocks—
you don't know how much you bring
of toil and words from the sea,
you're rich like a memory,
like the barren countryside,
you hard and sweetest word,
ancient because of the blood
gathered in the eyes;
young, like a fruit
that is a memory and a season—
your breath rests
under the sky of August,
the olives of your look
sweeten the sea,
and you live and live again
without amazement, certain
like the earth, dark
like the earth, a grinder
of seasons and dreams
that reveals itself under the moon
to be so old, just like
the hands of your mother,
the bowl of the brazier.

Submitted: Sunday, March 25, 2012

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