m'illumino / d'immenso
is a seven-syllable poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti from the first world war. I cannot say that a lot stuck with me from my undergraduate focus on Italian language and literature besides a) a simple appreciation for the way that language dances in me, and b) these seven syllables.
Illuminarsi is verb which means to light oneself up, to turn on, to illuminate oneself, to grow lighter. It is reflexive, a category of verbs which we are largely lacking in English. These verbi riflessivi come with the superpower of doing things to oneself, for oneself. For instance, one doesn't become lit up, enlightened, illuminated without engaging in the activity of doing it. D'immenso is literally "of the immense," or "from the immense." This is different than immensità, the noun. And this is translation. And this is poetry. We are asked to reorganize ourselves in such a way that this makes sense.
In the meantime, we have: I illuminate myself with immensity. Or with the immense. Or a universally-accessible felt sense thereof.
These pages are a place for the words inside of my experience of living a human life. This is about awe. This is about the reflexively-illuminating-work. This is about the vastness.