“The Watch” is my translation of Giuseppe Ungaretti’s “La Veglia”. One of the many poems that the Italian poet has created during his experience in the First World War trenches. It is a poem written in free verse and without punctuation. The style of this poem is that of the Hermeticism that aims at the creation of a poem full of sensations. Above all, in this poem, the sense of loneliness and at the same time, the attachment to life. The writer, alone among dead people feels particularly attached to life, that is why he writes letters of love.

In this translation, I took a particular care for the word “buttato”, which in Italian gives the idea of someone left alone on purpose, a meaning that I have found in the English word “cast” and not “thrown”. According to me, “cast” more than “thrown” has the power to picture someone left alone, as on a desert island. The situation of the poet alone in a trench is, in fact, close to that of a man left on a desert island, surrounded by dangers and in a continuous struggle for life.

The watch

A whole night
close to
a ruined friend
his mouth
wide open
to the full moon
frozen hands
piercing my silence
I wrote
letters of love
I’ve never been so
close to life.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

Articoli correlati

Creative Writing


This is a long and personal piece, I wrote during my last travel in the UK. It is a surreal encounter with a personification of fear, sensuality and beauty: a Catwoman. This Catwoman wants to Leggi tutto…

Creative Writing

Una favola

Nella vita ci sono cose e persone che magari vedi solo per un secondo oppure solo in televisione ma che non si sa per quale motivo ti rimangono impresse. Ricordo ancora quando in quell’estate del Leggi tutto…



Stavo sfogliando la raccolta di poesie di Florence Welch quando mi sono imbattuto in questo breve componimento. Subito ho pensato a quanto fosse contemporaneo, vero e triste. Preoccupato dall’arrivo dell’età della rabbia, Dove solo la Leggi tutto…