“Serenade” by Djuna Barnes

Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute,
The better that my longing you may know;
I’m not asking you to come,
But—can’t you go?

Three words, “I love you,” and the whole is said—
The greatness of it throbs from sun to sun;
I’m not asking you to walk,
But—can’t you run?

Three paces in the moonlight’s glow I stand,
And here within the twilight beats my heart.
I’m not asking you to finish,
But—to start.

Djuna Barnes published poetry in some magazines: this love poem appeared in All-Story Cavalier Weekly in 1914.

Tre passi lungo la riva, il liuto suona sommesso,
per farti meglio sapere il mio anelare;
non ti sto chiedendo di venire,
ma… puoi non andare?

Tre parole, “Io ti amo”, e questo è tutto—
la loro grandezza nel sole sembra pulsare;
non ti sto chiedendo di camminare,
ma… non puoi volare?

Tre passi al chiaro di luna,
e qui nel bagliore sento il cuore palpitare;
non ti sto chiedendo di finire,
ma… di cominciare.
(trad: L.Z.)

Image: Library of Congress (Japanese prints and drawings): “A fairy moon and a lonely shore”

30 thoughts on ““Serenade”

    1. I must say that it is a choice that takes me a long time. After deciding on a subject that could fit the content of the post I do a google images search,, and the longest and most difficult thing is to figure out which images I can use without breaking copyright laws (which is always very difficult, for me)
      Have a nice day, dear Pat😘🌞😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pleased that you liked her poem too. I thought it was quite beautiful. Also, I would like to thank you for the kindness of your visit and for taking taking the time to comment. 😘


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