Sunday, February 01, 2009


For Sunday, here are two more poems by Professore Antonio Lonardo, together with my own translations. They are published on this blog with Professore Lonardo's kind permission. Both these poems were inspired by the day that Professore Lonardo met his future wife, in Bergamo [Lombardy]. I was delighted to learn that these two, so obviously still in love, met in a city I know well as I like to imagine them there, walking in the streets where I once walked with my first Italian amore, so many years ago.


Era sorto il sole
senza attenderlo,
era spuntato il sorriso
senza volerlo,
era maturato il futuro
senza crederlo...

Il volto nuovo
della speranza,
i riccioli fermi
della certezza,
le parole dolci
della vita insieme...

Nelle premesse
di un giorno,
con il sole
alle spalle,
l'orizzonte illuminato,
il domani s'attendeva radioso.

Cessavano, come d'incanto,
i molti problemi;
tacevano, come assorbiti,
i tanti echi;
brillavano, come gioielli,
i giorni a venire.

From Desiderio di Luce [Modica, 2005]


The sun had come out
and I didn't wait for it,
a smile had broken out
and I didn't will it,
the future was mapped out,
and I didn't believe it.

The new face
of hope,
the firm curls
of certainty,
the sweet words
of a life to be lived together...

In the words
of a single day,
with the sun
on my back,
the horizon alight with hope,
a brilliant tomorrow was promised.

As if by magic,
my worries ceased;
as if swallowed,
echoes fell silent;
and the days to come
shone like diamonds before us.


Nell'illimitata agorà del tempo,
portati dal vento della storia,
esistenziali pollini
dell'umana specie
s'incontrano e si fondono
ideando nuovi orizzonti...

Nella sterminata terra del globo,
guidati dall'imperscrutabile Fato,
si muovono gli uomini
in accidentali strade,
per specchiarsi negli occhi
e ritrovarsi piuttosto simili...

Nella lunga galleria della luce,
tesi verso l'uscita,
s'illuminano gli stanchi visi,
allungando gli sguardi
che abbracciano il mondo
nella sfida verso l'ignoto futuro...

Nello sfuggente senso del mistero,
s'incrociano i destini,
che, fortemente connessi,
proseguono insieme
nel lungo percorso
di un'unica vita per sempre.


In the unlimited Agora of time,
borne on the wind of history,
existential beings
of the human kind
meet and come together
mapping out new horizons...

On this immense Earth of ours
guided by unfathomable Fate,
men move along
accidental paths,
gaze at their reflections in their own eyes
and find themselves similar...

In the long tunnel of light,
stretching towards the exit,
tired faces light up,
prolonging the glances
which embrace the world,
defying the unknown future.

In the fleeting sense of mystery,
destinies cross,
and, forging links,
they pursue together
the long journey
of two lives, forever one.

From Le Stagioni del cuore [Modica, 2008.]


Crushed said...

I was actually interested to not how closely your translations scan.

Hard to do when translating from a Romance language to a Germanic.

Have you ever read Dorothy Sayers translation of Orlando Furioso?

Sackerson said...

O/T, but my brother forwarded this site, which looks like a perfect foil for yours. See Saturday's post with the dog!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Crushed. The difficulties of translating poetry are myriad and with these, in order to keep the imagery, I had to make a decision on the scansion. I read some of my translations to Prof AL this afternoon and he was pleased that a musicality has been retained. In parts I have had to change punctuation, too, because the rhythm you must respect is that of the language you are translating into. Sayers' translations are good and in her translation of the "Divine Comedy" she attempts to keep the rhyme; however, much else is lost, in my opinion. I find Longfellow's translation superior. Most poetry is best translated as a kind of poetic prose.
Thanks, Sackerson - that's a great site!

Ellee Seymour said...

Very romantic.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. I think so, too.

PinkAcorn said...

Have you read the book "Sicilian Wisdom" by Mario Macaluso, Ph.D. ?
It's a collection of proverbs, poems,expressions and cultural tibits from Polizzi Generosa. He is also a foreign Language Consultant and Lecturer out of New York.


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