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    painting of boat on lake

    Poem: I Cannot Love What You Are

    By Patrizia Cavalli

    June 30, 2014
    • Michael Kozubek

      Very spiritual without being overt. Nice short work.

    I cannot love what you are, no,
    what you are is indeed a mistake.
    But there is in you a grace that surpasses
    what you obstinately are.
    Something that’s yours and doesn’t belong to you,
    in you from the start but separate from you,
    that draws towards you cautiously, afraid
    of its own uncontainable splendor.

    No, io non posso amare quel che sei,
    quello che sei è in verità uno sbaglio.
    C’è in te però una grazia che oltrepassa
    quello che tu in ostinatezza sei.
    Qualche cosa che è tuo e non ti appartiene,
    che è in te in origine ma da te diviso,
    che a te si accosta cauto, spaventato
    del suo stesso incontenibile splendore.

    From My Poems Won’t Change the World: Selected Poems, ed. Gini Alhadeff (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). Used by permission. Translated by Gini Alhadeff.

    painting of boat on lake Henri Lebasque, Girl in Boat, detail

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