Dove Cantan Gli Uccelli Del Paradiso: Gian Franco Translation

‘Where the Birds of Paradise Sing’ by XANADU

Translated into Italian
24 September 2021 


Per una cara amica

Da Xanadu

Datemi la Montagna Incantata
Dove cantan gli uccelli del paradiso
In una ieratica lingua—
Dolci canzoni di infinita brama.

Datemi i Giardini della Nostalgia
In un mai visto mondo visionario;
Datemi le lontane Terre del Mattino
Dove il mio amore è tutto ciò che fu.

Datemi il viso della mia amata
Tornare da me – tornare dall’aldilà
Grata e di gioia radiante
Con l’arcobaleno attorno al capo.

Questo è il mio forte desiderio—possa esso avverarsi!—
Fatemi presto camminare col mio angelo
Attraverso i dorati campi del sole,
Presso gli argentei mari della luna.

5 thoughts to “Dove Cantan Gli Uccelli Del Paradiso: Gian Franco Translation”

  1. Thank you, Gian Franco Spotti! One poem, and thanks to you, re-runs in one or more different languages, though lost on unilingual me, opens up poetic space in which to compete with HorrorWorld stories. You know, the ones conveying accounts of dreary, secular, sociopolitical shenanigans of The Power$ That Be and those others hellbent on bringing this Age to a rousing, if fatality-strewn close. Each post begets reactions, reflexive denialism offering no hope and even fewer solutions.

    Here, Gian and those interested, where wife and I have ensconced ourselves in Mexico, several outdoor plants with flowers as complex as they are ornate blossom continuously just beyond my office door, down and around one of several grassy, near-labyrinthine walkways. While living well north of the border, we knew these (then indoor plants) as “Bird of Paradise” [e.g., The beautiful graphic which graces Xanadu’s poem — reminiscent for me of the album cover for The Incredible String Band’s “The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion”, no less psychedelic or occult — reimburses the cost of admission.

    In the meantime, the increasing meanness of times measurable day to day, I sit with my father. We gaze at a Bird of Paradise perched just beyond reach. The following poem flew into mind, which I reproduce here, with apologies in advance to the sensibilities of Gilbert Huntley.


    Father and I, his only begotten son, sit awaiting The End.
    He wants to stay for the Scrolling of Credits, I do not,
    having read The Book, even Lamsa’s version,
    dwindling premium time left to spend.
    “Not often one gets free tickets to this show….” His stream
    of words dammed as he drew heavily on a
    self-rolled cigarette, his first in forty years.
    To fill the sudden vacuum in rhetorical space, I ventured
    “Once in a lifetime, I’ll place my bet here. How
    much longer?”, I added, “You’re The Engineer! ”
    Lapsing to silence myself, I sit sipping steaming saki,
    washing down a platter of sushi, my first since
    2011, issues of radionuclides no longer matter.
    Watching tiny smoke rings drift idolently from nostrils,
    (like riding a bicycle, a trick you never forget
    after taking up smoking in adolescence),
    Father sonorously intoned, “One never knows, son.
    Soon, in time for bed. Where we head,
    rhymes go unheard and meter counts not!
    We’ll sleep the dreamless sleep once again,
    sometime finally, once and for All.”

    acd, 26 September 2021

  2. @ Gian Franco

    Brilliant translation, Gian! Thank you. I think your task is made easier here by the absolute clarity and simplicity of the original English. LD doesn’t believe in obscurantism and most of her poems have no unnecessary words. They are crisp and terse and to the point ….. and totally comprehensible.

    1. Even a child could understand them. Well, let’s say an unusually “gifted child”. The subject matter, mystical and otherworldly, is beyond the tastes of most children.

  3. Dedicated to Saki, one for the kids.

    Pen Mightier Than the Sword

    Ink-stained fingers linger longer than words written with a classic leaky pen.
    Faulty instruments easily discarded, I miss that one mighty crosser of swords.
    Truer words I never wrote than those on paper with pencil and pen.
    I lost perspective when I lost touch with pencil, then pen.
    The blank page for a writer, an empty canvas for a painter,
    Our modern palettes screens of monitors, small and large,
    our work infinitely surveilled, revisable, risible, reversible.
    I keep my paper dry and away from view.
    I treasure my legacy pencils, pens and ink.
    I guard with my life my Crayola Crayons.

    acd, 30 September 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *