MADRE PATRIA: An Italian Translation

‘Mother Country’ by CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Translated into Italian


Oh, che cos’è quel paese
E dove può essere
Non il mio paese
Ma ben più lontan da me?
Eppure il mio paese,
Se un giorno potessi veder
Le sue spezie e i cedri,
Il suo oro e avorio.

Mentre disteso sto sognando
Sorge, quella terra
Sorge davanti a me
I suoi verdi e dorati lidi
Con i suo ricurvi cedri
E la sua sabbia splendente;
Brilla e lampeggia
Come un tizzone scosso.

Gli angeli si avvicinano di più
Mentre disteso bramo?
Vedo il loro morbido piumaggio
E catturo la loro ventosa canzone
Come l’ascesa di un’alta marea
Spazzare in pieno e con forza
Noto i margini 
Della loro reverenda folla.

Oh, cos’è qui un re,
O che cos’è un villano?
Qui tutti muoiono di fame insieme,
Tutti scarsi e poveri;
Qui la mano della morte bussa
Di porta in porta
Dirada i ballerini
Dalla festa danzante.

Oh, cos’è una serva
O cos’è una regina?
Tutti devon star insieme
Dove verde è il manto erboso
Nascosto il viso più brutto
Il più bello non visto;
Andati come se mai
Avessero  respirato o fossero stati.

Via dal dolce sole
Sotto terra sepolti
Trasformati da carne e sangue caldi
In forme senza senso
Andati come se mai
Avessero faticato o calpestato
Usciti dalla vista di tutti
Tranne che del nostro Dio

Chiuso in silenzio
Dalla solita canzone
Chiuso in solitudine
Da tutta la moltitudine terrena
Corri giù svelto
Spingiti forte
La vita è alla fine
Sembrava breve o lunga.

La vita è finita
La vita appena iniziata
La vita è finita ieri
L’ultima sua corsa sulla sabbia
La vita rinata il giorno dopo
Fresca come sil sole:
Mentre ciò che è fatto è fatto per sempre;
Incompiuto, incompiuto

E se quella vita è vita,
Questo è solo un respiro
Il tragitto di un sogno
E l’ombra della morte;
Ma un’ombra vana
Se la si considerasse;
Vanità delle vanità
Come dice il Predicatore.

10 thoughts to “MADRE PATRIA: An Italian Translation”

  1. @ Gian Franco Spotti

    I congratulate you on your beautiful translation. Bravo! You have managed to capture not only the meaning of this fantastic poem but its mood music also. For underlying the poem and its sombre meaning runs a silvery river of pure melancholy music. It reminds me of a violin sonata by Mozart or Haydn.


  2. I have no doubt it’s a wonderful poem – full of unrequited love and graveyard musings (at least if past offerings are anything to go by) – but I’m afraid Italian’s “All Greek” to me.

    1. Why bother to comment if you don’t know Italian? The obvious thing would be to remain silent, nein?

      I praise the translator for his sensitive translation. Alle Achtung! Only reason I come here is to read the poems and translations! I’m not interested in the articles or their silly commenters.Thank God the poetry articles have not been invaded by these dummkopfs!

      1. @ Gretel

        They WILL be invading the poetry threads if they see your comment here and decide to attack you here for sneering at them!

        So shush 🙂

        Best to remain quiet and let the poetry threads remain islands of tranquillity for the cultured and more sophisticated commenters. I’m sure Admin would prefer it if the poetry threads remained free from the hateful intrusions of the philistine dummkopfs. They have all the other threads to misbehave on. So why come here and be unpleasant?

        1. You miss the point, Saki. The only reason ‘The Realist’ exists — his raison d’etre for being on this site — is to be thoroughly unpleasant. I can’t recollect a single nice thing he has said. Unpleasantness is the air he breathes. Sneers are all he has to offer.

          He suffers from extreme intellectual halitosis. Smutty limericks, that’s his idea of what poetry ought to be! Isn’t that so, Mr Realist?

          “There was a young lady of China
          Who had the most shocking vagina
          Etc etc etc etc…

          — The Realist, ‘My Best Pervy Pomes’

          Apparently he has a whole sackful of these lavatorial graffiti and would like to unload them here on the Darkmoon site. Sister Monica has this put this Jolly Jester in his place, but he still keeps coming here with his spit and his venom. How I hate these degenerate wankers who roam the internet like lost souls, spreading their bad breath like a foul wind over the sanctity of life.

          1. Well said, Butterfly! But I’m sure “The Realist” has never written a limerick as inspired as the first two lines of your imaginary limerick about the young lady of China! 🙂

  3. I don’t think anything The Realist said justifies this over-reaction to his slightly negative comment in which he sneers at Christina Rossetti. He is obviously hated and most unpopular here. Why this should be so I have no idea. However, I don’t think the brilliant translator of this Christina Rossetti poem, Gian Franco Spotti, is likely to be offended by the Realist’s comment.

    The Realist is obviously entitled to his bizarre opinion that his own smutty limericks would make better reading than the inspirational poetry of Christina Rossetti.

    1. Sister Monica,

      Sorry if I butt in here, but I think Madame Butterfly’s comment
      is far more offensive than the Realist’s comment.

      In any case, many thanks for running this Italian translation.
      I am learning Italian and I really enjoyed reading this! Bravo!

      1. Hi Helga
        thank you very much.
        I wish you all the best for your learning Italian. If you want you can write me in my language. Do not worry if some mistakes occur, it’s normal. It happens to me when I write or speak in english or in other languages.
        Gian Franco

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