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"Anche tu sei collina" (You Are Also Hill), by Cesare Pavese.

A poem about love and nature of one of the most important Italian writers, Cesare Pavese: an obsessive succession of natural images that offers a symbolic, mythical portrait of the female figure.

This poem is part of a collection "Verrà la morte e avrà i tuoi occhi" (Death will come and will have your eyes), published posthumously, including ten poems (eight in Italian and two in English), all written between 11 March and 10 April 1950 in Turin and all unpublished. The poems were found among the papers of Pavese after his death, in duplicate, in the order in which they were published.

These are love lyrics, permeated with poignant nostalgia and written with an unusual style for Pavese. They are dedicated to the American actress Constance Dowling, her last unrequited love, known in 1949.

The woman, whose lyricization takes place through the metaphors of the great themes of the author, such as the earth, the vineyard, the wind, life, and death, is the unique and absolute motif that permeates all the lyrics of the work.

In this poem, the woman identifies with the earth, nature, and the hill is a dark, mysterious land, not a fertile and welcoming maternal land, but a dark mystery. The obsessive succession of natural images offers us a symbolic, mythical portrait of the female figure.

Anche tu sei collina

You are also hill

​Anche tu sei collina

e sentiero di sassi

e gioco nei canneti,

e conosci la vigna

che di notte tace.

Tu non dici parole.

C'è una terra che tace

e non è terra tua.

C'è un silenzio che dura

sulle piante e sui colli.

Ci son acque e campagne.

Sei un chiuso silenzio

che non cede, sei labbra

e occhi bui.Sei la vigna.

È una terra che attende

e non dice parola.

Sono passati giorni

sotto cieli ardenti.

Tu hai giocato alle nubi.

È una terra cattiva –

la tua fronte lo sa.

Anche questo è la vigna.

Ritroverai le nubi

e il canneto, e le voci

come un'ombra di luna.

Ritroverai parole

oltre la vita breve

e notturna dei giochi,

oltre l'infanzia accesa.

Sarà dolce tacere.

Sei la terra e la vigna.

Un acceso silenzio

brucerà la campagna

come i falò la sera.

You are also hill

and stony path

and games in the cane fields,

you know the vineyard

that at night hushes.

You utter no words.

There is a land that hushes

and it is not yours.

There’s a silence that endures

Over the plants and hills.

There are waters and countryside.

You are a closed silence

That won’t yield, you are lips,

Dark eyes. You are the vineyard.

It’s a land that waits

and doesn’t say a word.

Days have gone by

under burning skies.

You have played with clouds.

It’s a grudging land-

Your forehead knows that.

This too is the vineyard.

You’ll rediscover clouds

and the cane field, and voices

like a shadow in moonlight.

You’ll rediscover words

Beyond the brief

Nocturnal life of games,

Beyond the glow of childhood.

It will be sweet to grow quiet.

You’re the land and the vineyard.

A bright silence

Will burn the countryside

Like bonfires in the evening.

About Cesare Pavese.

The Italian writer Cesare Pavese lived a relatively short life spanning the first half of the 20th century. He was a poet and literary critic and was responsible for translating English and American literature into Italian. Many of these translations were seen in Italian for the first time. He was well regarded as one of the leading authors in Italy, but he led a solitary, bleak life despite this. These circumstances are reflected in his writing style and themes and, no doubt, contributed to his death by suicide when only 41 years old.

Cesare Pavese (1908–1950) was born on his family's vacation farm in a country outside of Turin in northern Italy. He graduated from the University of Turin, where he wrote a thesis on Walt Whitman. During that time, Pavese began a continuing engagement with English-language literature that led to his influential translations of Moby-Dick, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Three Lives, and Moll Flanders, among others other works. Briefly exiled by the Fascist regime to Calabria in 1935, Pavese returned to Turin to work for the new publishing house of Giulio Einaudi, where he eventually became the editorial director. In 1936 he published a book of poems, Lavorare Stanca (Hard Labor), and then wrote novels and short stories. Pavese won the Strega Prize for fiction, Italy's most prestigious award, for The Moon and the Bonfires in 1950. Later the same year, after a brief affair with an American actress, he committed suicide.

About Paola Spagnulo

"Good at acting on stage or in front of a camera, bad at lying to my mother, friends, or anyone who interfaces with me. Although it always generates amazement, I am 30 years old, but I am never chosen to play roles of my age. In fact, I still don't know who really I am. I studied theater at the "A. Galante Garrone" in Bologna, and I have acted in films and shows and in some commercials. I sing, but I don't like someone listening to me. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I meditate, sometimes I pet my cats. I often change my opinion except on one thing: pizza". - Paola Spagnulo

Stay in touch with Paola

Instagram: @pdipaola


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