A WINTER NOON
Who in the moment of my happiness
(God forgive my using a word so grand,
so terrible) reduced my brief delight
nearly to tears? "A certain lovely creature,"
you'll surely say, "who smiled at you in passing."
But no: a blue meandering balloon
against the azure air, my native sky
never so clear and cold as then, at noon
that dazzling winter day: a few small clouds,
and upper windows flaming in the sun,
and faint smoke from a chimney, maybe two--
and over everything, every divine
thing, that globe that had escaped a boy's
incautious fingers (surely he was out there,
broadcasting through the crowded square his grief,
his immense grief) between the great facade
of the Stock Exchange and the cafe where I,
behind a window, watched with shining eyes
the rise and fall of what he once possessed.
by Umberto Saba, --Translated by Geoffrey Brock
from The Alhambra Poetry Calendar, 2010