The Shop-Boy With the Wheelbarrow
It's good to recover in ourselves
lost loves, or reconcile ourselves to an affront,
but if life pent up inside weighs you down,
take it out of doors.
Throw open the windows, or go down
into the crowd; you'll see how little it takes
to cheer you up: an animal, a game,
or, dressed in blue,
a shop-boy with a wheelbarrow
clearing the street with a loud voice,
who, if he finds the slightest downward slope,
runs no more, but flies.
The streets are full of people at that hour
who don't keep quiet after dodging him.
The noisier the uproar and the wrath,
the more he swings his hips and sings.
translated by George Hochfield & Leonard Nathan
SONGBOOK, the selected poems of Umberto Saba