You lovely moon—I remember coming here,so anxious, to this hill to stare at youat the turning of the year. How you loomed there,how you do; how when you do, you shine!But now I shiver, clouded, from the tearsthat soak my lashes: and then your face smilesin my eyes. My life has been so painful,and so it is; and its style stays the same,oh moon, my lover moon. And yet the memorydelights me, and the memory of the epochof my grief. In time of youth (when hope still hasso far a way to go, and memory so short),which needs the thankful remembrance of things past,how sad those things still are—and how the panic lasts! [End Page 165]
Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837) was an Italian poet of the early nineteenth century. He possessed formidable talents in a range of other fields as well, including philosophy and linguistics. His enormous commonplace book, or Zibaldone, was recently published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the first time in English in 2013.
Spencer Lenfield has reported and written essays for Harvard Magazine, Open Letters Monthly, and the Atlantic Online, including a recent profile of the poet/translator David Ferry. A native of Michigan, he read Classics at the University of Oxford.