Little Diary of Getting Old: VIII

Translated by Geoffrey Brock
And then at night, when old,
we start having vague pointless
scraps of dreams that lead us
to this place or that, since even
our failing senses insist on
outings: and lost friends reappear,
sleepwalking through the stupor
of surrendered existence.
But here too there’s something
that’s not unconscious, as when
the boatman stops his old ferry
along the banks of the Arno,
plunges his wooden bailer
into the bottom of the boat,
and dumps that stale water,
gone to grime between the staves,
overboard into the river,
where it flows again,
though the boat is held fast
amid the mud and rushes.


More Poems by Carlo Betocchi