Giovanni Pascoli, Il gelsomino notturno (Night-blooming Jasmine) #poetry

And in the hour when blooms unfurl,
thoughts of my loved ones come to me.
The moths of evening swirl around the snowball tree.
Nothing by now shouts or sings; one house only whispers then hushes.

Nestlings sleep beneath wings, like eyes beneath their lashes.
From open calyces there flows a ripe strawberry scent, in waves.
A lamp in the house glows. Grasses are born on graves.
A late bee sighs, back from its tours and no cell vacant anymore.

The Hen and her cheeping stars cross their threshing floor.
All through the night the flowers flare, exhaling scent into the wind.
The lamp now climbs the stair, shines from above, is dimmed…
It’s dawn: the petals, slightly worn, close up again—
each bud to brood, in its soft, secret urn, on some yet-nameless good.

Translated by Geoffrey Brock

Original Italian

E s'aprono i fiori notturni, nell'ora che penso a’ miei cari.
Sono apparse in mezzo ai viburni le farfalle crepuscolari.
Da un pezzo si tacquero i gridi: là sola una casa bisbiglia.
Sotto l'ali dormono i nidi, come gli occhi sotto le ciglia.

Dai calici aperti si esala l'odore di fragole rosse.
Splende un lume là nella sala. Nasce l’erba sopra le fosse.
Un'ape tardiva sussurra trovando già prese le celle.
La Chioccetta per l'aia azzurra va col suo pigolio di stelle.
Per tutta la notte s'esala l'odore che passa col vento.

Passa il lume su per la scala; brilla al primo piano: s'è spento…
È l'alba: si chiudono i petali un poco gualciti; si cova, dentro l'urna molle e segreta, non so che felicità nuova.


  1. Thank you for this beauty, Raum.
    No doubt the poetry is meant to be read in Italian, and loses something
    when translated, but still has lovely imagery.

    Is this photo a flower native to Italy?
    It has a tropical look.
    Reminds me of the Plumeria I have seen in Hawaii.

    Wishing you a blessed day,

    1. Thank you for your comment!
      The Italian poem by Pascoli is very fascinating and full of hidden meanings.
      About the flower: I chose it for its beauty and for the light of the picture, but I don't know its name or origin, sorry! (not typical Italian, though.)


      - Raum


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