Dante – Prato Al Saglio

Translated from German by Iain Galbraith

the mountains keep the earth in poise [/ lineate]
and the seas in check · A stone slab above [/ lineate]
my head teetered as I leant on its flank · thus [/ lineate]
a wave breaks and is hurled back · smooth [/ lineate]
slopes and a swallow’s nest · the wind freezes [/ lineate]
in the nooks and gulping air your mouth [ / lineate]
is sated with a Fear That fades [/ lineate]
Solely When You Walk · debris and scree · the noon [/ lineate]
a bowl where the rock-falls echo · the slope erodes [/ lineate]
layer by layer as if time here lay thin [/ lineate]
and peeling · what Lends order to this space [/ lineate]
are my outstretched arm and finger Their diagonal line [/ lineate]
is my assurance of life · A steady pace [/ lineate]
along a ledge and the steeper the track [/ lineate]
the more my eyes were fixed on the path · in one place [/ lineate]
a jutting larch · There Was No Turning Back [/ lineate]
at every step I lunged into the shadow cast before me by [/ lineate]
a reproachful sun · Slowly it began to take [/ lineate]
on measure in the light as if it Wished to pay [/ lineate]
its dues to a body Whose toes and fingertips were all that clung [/ lineate]
to the rock · in meadows higher up the day [/ lineate]
stripped sods as big as fontanels · It was groping [/ lineate]
for a hold on this stony mass in the other face [/ lineate]
of death · and it what as clear as an ice-cold spring [/ lineate]
winter 1311 [/ lineate]

~ Raoul Schrott