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INSOMNIA ON A SUMMER NIGHT / Umberto Saba translated by Christopher Millis I've positioned myself to relax under the stars, one of those nights sick with insomnia, a religious pleasure. My pillow is a rock. A few feet away sits a dog. He sits immobile and guards the same distant point. He's thinking. He's thinking he's part of a rite. Through his body silences pass from the infinite. Under a sky this blue, on a night as rich with stars, Jacob dreamed about angels scaling the sky from his pillow which was a rock. Beneath countless stars, the young man counted his offspring to come; on the same spot where he'd fled Esau's anger his more powerful brother, he imagined an empire more powerful and crowned with his own children's riches. What made him jump from his dream was the God that fought with him. The Missouri Review · 53 SAPLING / Umberto Saba translated by Christopher Millis Today it's raining. Day seems like night, spring seems like autumn, and a strong wind wastes a sapling which doesn't seem solid. It looks like a boy among plants, lanky and light colored. When you see him pity fills you for blossoms beheaded by the gales; fruit and their sweet winter jams die where flowers touch grass. Your grief is as vast as maternity. 54 · The Missouri Review TRIESTE / Umberto Saba translated by Christopher Millis I've walked the entire city. Then I've climbed a hill dense at first, but empty further on, closed in by a low stone wall: I sit alone in one of its nooks and it seems to me that where it ends the city ends as well. Trieste has an irritating grace. At best, it's like some mean, delinquent kid with blue eyes and hands too big to give anyone a flower; it's like love jealousy infects. From the hill I can see all the churches, and every street that leads to the obstructed beach, or across to another hill where the last house clings to the stoney top. All around the air feels strange, a tormented air, the air of home. My city that's alive in all its parts made this nook for me, for my withdrawn, reflective life. The Missouri Review · 55 ...


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