Cesare Pavese

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

You Have a Face of Carved Stone


You have a face of carved stone,
blood of hardened earth,
you came from the sea.
All is gathered and scrutinized
and rejected by you
like the sea. In your heart
there's silence and words
ingested. You're darkness.
For you, dawn is silence.

You're like the voices
of the earth—the splash
of a pail in a well,
the song of the fire,
the thud of an apple,
resigned words
and thumps on thresholds,
the cry of a boy—things
that never go away.
You're not mute. You're darkness.

You're the closed cellar,
of beaten earth,
where once entered
a barefoot boy
will always remember.
You're the dark room
he'll always remember,
like the antique courtyard
where the dawn revealed itself.

Submitted: Sunday, March 25, 2012

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