Why be ashamed? When one has done time,
if they let one out, it's because like everybody else
who belongs to the streets, one has been in prison.
From morning till evening we wander the avenues
whether it's raining or a beautiful sun's showing its face.
It's a joy to meet on the avenues people who talk
and talking among ourselves, bump into girls.
It's a joy to wait and whistle at girls from doorways,
hug them on the streets and take them to movies
and smoking in secret, lean on their beautiful knees.
It's a joy to talk and finger them laughing,
and at night in bed, feeling flung on one's neck
their two arms pulling you down, thinking of morning
when one is released from prison in the fresh sunlight.
From morning till evening wandering drunk
and watching laughing passersby enjoying everybody
—even ugly people—just to feel themselves on the streets.
From morning till evening singing drunkenly
and meeting drunkards and starting discussions
that last a long time and make us thirsty.
All these characters who go talking among themselves,
we want them with us at night, down in the trough,
and to hound them with our guitar
that skips drunkenly and cannot stay confined
but throws the doors wide open to echo in the air—
outside water or stars may rain down. It doesn't matter
if on the avenues at this hour no beautiful girls are strolling:
among us is one who laughs to himself
because he has also been released from prison tonight,
and with him, raising a ruckus and singing, we'll make it to morning.
Cesare Pavese's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Street Song by Cesare Pavese )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- I See The Ground, Naveed Akram
- Tears And Smiles..., Khairul Ahsan
- Prefix: Finding The Measure, Robert Kelly
- EbOnY fL0wEr$ - Scene From Ivory Towers, sEaN nOrTh
- hEY....u sPeLLed - No Sign Of Blunt Force, sEaN nOrTh
- Why Did You Say That, Jeri Martindale
- They are men too, Sayeed Abubakar
- A Little Christmas, Jack Spurlock
- A pet poem., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- A Portal, David Harris