Eugenio Montale


Memory was a literary genre
from before the birth of writing.
Then it became chronicle and tradition
but was already reeking of cadavers.
Living memory is not recorded,
it neither springs from nor buries itself
in the mind. It joins existence like a halo
of haze about the head. Already it is faded,
doubtful that it return. It does not always
remember itself.

— translated from the Italian by Giovanni Malto