Translated by Sarah Stickney
from Issue 25
It was about time, that’s how it should be done:
in winter it snows!
Thus outside may it snow
thus inside may it be seen to snow.
Light snow caresses you
and it falls twice; the snow
that used to fall also falls.
You, protected by glass
from your winter garden–you died in winter–
solemn, you examine the snowy lacework
and from up close
(the way those of us who are nearsighted
take off our glasses to see better) up close
you examine its embroidery carefully, stitch
by stitch, and it seems the exam is passed;
no stitch of the snow is out of place,
nothing to undo.
Vivian Lamarquehas published eight books of poems, as well as a volume of selected poetry. She has won numerous prizes, including the Premio Viareggio Opera Prize and several others.
Sarah Stickney received her MFA from the University of New Hampshire. She is a former Fulbright Grantee for the translation of Italian poetry. The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions: New York, 2013), her co-translations of Elisa Biagini’s selected poems, was chosen the University of Rochester in 2014 for its Best Translated Book Award for poetry. She lives in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches at St. John’s College.
Original text: Vivian Lamarque, three poems: “Compro oro,” “Preferisco Symborska II,” “Ritratto Con Neve” from Madre d’Inverno. Milan: Mondadori, 2016.