[The happy ones are almost always also vulgar]

By Patrizia Cavalli Patrizia Cavalli

Translated By Geoffrey Brock

The happy ones are almost always also vulgar;
happiness has a way of thinking
that's rushed and has no time to look
but keeps on moving, compact and manic,
with contempt in passing for the dying:
Get on with your life, come on, buck up!

Those stilled by pain don't mix
with the cheerful, self-assured runners
but with those who walk at the same slow pace.
If one wheel locks and the other's turning
the turning one doesn't stop turning
but goes as far as it can, dragging the other
in a poor, skewed race until the cart
either comes to a halt or falls apart.

Source: Poetry (December 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2007


Patrizia Cavelli was born in Todi, a municipality of the province of Perugia (Umbria) in central Italy, and lives in Rome. She is the author of three books of poems.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Humor & Satire


Poetic Terms Metaphor

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