by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by James Wyatt Cook
Had not those honored leaves that tame the wrath
Of heaven when high Jove thunders, not denied
To me that crown which customarily
Adorns one who, while shaping verses, writes,
I'd be a friend to these your goddesses,
The ones this age abandons wretchedly;
But far that wrong already drives me off
From the inventress of the olive tree.
Indeed, no Ethiopic dust boils up
Beneath the hottest sun the way I blush
At losing such a treasured gift of mine.
Search out, therefore, a fountain more serene,
For mine of every cordial stands in need,
Save only that which I well forth in tears.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.