by Francesco Petrarca
Translated by Anthony Mortimer
In sleep my distant lady used to come,
consoling me with that angelic air,
but now she brings a sad foreboding there,
nor can the grief and dread be overcome:
for all too often in her face I seem
to see true pity blent with heavy care,
and hear those things that teach the heart despair,
since of all joy and hope it must disarm.
'Does our last evening not come back to you',
she says to me, 'and how your eyes were wet,
and how, compelled by time, I left you then?
'I had no power nor wish to speak of it;
now I can say as something tried and true:
hope not to see me on this earth again.'
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.