obscures the phoenix bird and, at the same time, produces the light that makes it divine.

Tal il mio spirto (ch’il divin splendore
Accende e illustra), mentre va spiegando
Quel che tanto riluce nel pensiero,

We’ve made ourselves a kind of gutless language,
dirtying everything
it touches: Perky tits, arse, tush …

Manda da l’alto suo concetto fore
Rima, ch’il vago sol vad’oscurando,
Mentre mi struggo e liquefaccio intiero.

How can I say
what you mean to me
– Rima, spirit of the forest?

Oimè! questo atro e nero
Nuvol di foco infosca col suo stile
Quel ch’aggrandir vorrebbe, e’l rende umile.

Your soul evades those nets,
black, crusted fog.
You go out singing in the pouring rain.

“When she heard me repeat this to her, she laughed louder than ever, but said that I had pleased her for once, so she would let me see what I would never touch. First, though, I must bow at her feet.

“A quick flash of her black hairy figa, that was what she gave me. One glimpse to last me down the years. I lunged for it, but she was gone. She could always run fast, that one – too fast for me, but not for everyone, as it turned out.

“The next year she ran off with a city boy. She gave him more than a flash of what she had, I know, for she was gone less than a year. When she came back she would see no-one. The rumour spread that she had caught some

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