To My Soul
Umberto Saba (1883-1957)
You delight in your unending misery.
Such, my soul, should be the worth of knowledge,
that your suffering alone should do you good.
Or is the self-deceived the lucky one?
He who cannot ever know himself
or the sentence of his condemnation?
Still, my soul, you are magnaminous;
yet how you thrill to phantom opportunities,
and so are brought down by a faithless kiss.
To me my misery is a bright summer
day, where from high up I can make out
every facet, every detail of the world below.
Nothing is obscure to me; it's all right there,
wherever my eye or my mind leads me.
My road is sad but brightened by the sun;
and everything on it, even shadow, is in light.
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Mike Towler, April 1998