"Sweet" is the meaning of the word Amai in Japanese and the very same, pleasant sound corresponds to the Italian verb "I loved".

The Italian poet Umberto Saba uses it to entitle a charming programmatic text, which presents an idea of essential art, carrying the most profound truth in its simplicity.


Amai trite parole che non uno
osava. M’incantò la rima fiore
la più antica difficile del mondo.
Amai la verità che giace al fondo,
quasi un sogno obliato, che il dolore
riscopre amica. Con paura il cuore
le si accosta, che più non l’abbandona.
Amo te che mi ascolti e la mia buona
carta lasciata al fine del mio gioco.

Umberto Saba

I loved

I loved the worn words that no one else
dared use. I was enchanted by the rhyme June
the oldest and most stubborn in the world.
I loved the truth that lies in the depths,
almost a forgotten dream, that pain
rediscovers as a friend. With dread the heart
approaches it and never after lets it go.
I love you who listen to me, and the winning
card left me at the end of my game.

English translation by George Hochfield and Leonard Nathan from "Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba"

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