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Ode to a Flower in Casarsa

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Desert flower, flowers from the garland
of our houses where families
bicker in the open air,

you browse on the stones of the day,
simple, while field and sky 
like sky and sea 
appear all around.

Rustic desert flower,

no evening streaming with lights.

No shepherds drenched by dew,

slender fire of the hedges.

No marsh-marigold, bilberry, swamp-violet
or Florentine iris, or gentian, no angelica,
no Parnassian grass or marsh-myrtle.

You’re Pieruti, Zuan
and tall Bepi with his walking-sticks of bone,
slim at the helm of his wagon,

pasture flower.

You become hay. Burn, burn,
sun of my town, little desert flower.

The years pass over you,
and so do I, with the shadow of the acacia tree,
with the sunflower, on this quiet day.

From In Danger: A Pasolini Anthology by Pier Paolo Pasolini, edited by Jack Hirschman. Copyright © 1941 by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers.

From In Danger: A Pasolini Anthology by Pier Paolo Pasolini, edited by Jack Hirschman. Copyright © 1941 by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers.

Pier Paolo Pasolini