LINES OF A TESTAMENT
One needs to be very strong
to love solitude; one needs to have good legs
and an unusual resistance; one shouldn't risk
catching a cold, or flu or a sore throat; you mustn't
be afraid of robbers and killers; if one has to walk
through an afternoon or even all night long
one needs to know how to do it without even thinking.
There's no chance for one to sit, particularly
in winter; with a wind that blows over the wet grass
and with big, wet, muddy stones between garbage,
there's really no relief—no doubt about it—
beyond that of having a whole day and night ahead of one
without duties or limits of whatever kind.
Sex is a pretext. Because the encounters are many
—in winter too, on streets abandoned to the wind,
among the litter strewn against the distant buildings—
they're many—but they're only moments of loneliness;
the warmer and more alive the gentle body is
that anoints with sperm and moves on,
the colder and more mortal the beloved desert is around one;
and that's what fills one with joy,
like a miraculous wind, not the innocent smile
or the gloomy insolence of the one who goes away;
he carries with him a youth that's enormously young
and in this he's inhuman
because he leaves no traces, or rather he leaves
a single trace that's always
the same one in every season.
A young man in his first loves
is nothing else but the fecundity of the world.
It's the world that arrives with him: he appears and disappears
like changing form. All things remain intact
and you could walk half the city and not find him again.
The act's done, its repetition's a ritual. So
loneliness is even greater if a whole crowd
waits its turn: the number of disappearances in fact grows—
going away is fleeing—and
what follows looms over the present
like a duty, a sacrifice to offer to death's desire.
In getting older, however, weariness begins to be felt,
particularly in the moment just after dinnertime,
when for you nothing's changed; then, for a hair's breath,
you don't cry out or weep;
and that would be enormous if it weren't just the weariness
and maybe a bit of hunger. Enormous because
it'd mean that your desire for solitude
couldn't ever be satisfied, and so isn't what's
awaiting you, if not considered solitude,
real solitude, what you can't accept?
There's no dinner or lunch or satisfaction
in the world that's worth an endless stroll
through poor streets where one needs to be
wretched and strong, brothers of dogs.
1971. Translated by Jack Hirschman
from In Danger
A Pasolini Anthology
edited, with an introduction
by Jack Hirschman
(City Lights Books 2110)
The Lost Pasolini Interview