Tradotto in Italiano

Una Vecchia Leggenda

di Xanadu

Mentre un dì camminavo in riva al mar
Una voce dall’alto sentii arrivar:
“Libera la tua mente e la via trovar
Al tuo perduto amor ritornar”.

Poi dal mar dei sospiri
Fuor dal soleggiato mar,
Un aurea fanciulla con occhi sorridenti
Verso di me venne danzando.

I fluenti capelli alle sue ginocchia scendevan
E attorno al corpo ondeggiavan.
Rimasi estasiato, benché a disagio ero,
E gridai—Può ciò esser vero?

“Non dubitar!” disse. “Mi fai male!
Tutto è reale come sembra sia reale!
Sono Colei che brami,
Il Perduto Amor dei tuoi sogni”


  1. I prefer the original; in Spanish culture the language used above is called “cursi”.
    The closest translation of ‘Cursi” In English is .. corny, pretentious.
    It’s excessively romantic. It feels as if someone is whispering sexy words in your ear. It may make you shiver and spook the hair in your arms.
    My skin gets goose bumps.
    Original is better always.

  2. Sarita,

    You sound intelligent as well as sensitive to poetry and music. But reflect: Very few translations can be expected to equal, let alone surpass, the original work.

    Who can translate Dante and make it better than Dante?

    When did anyone translate a beautiful poem by Shakespeare so that someone could say: “Gosh! I prefer the translation to the original.” 🙂

    Lasha herself has translated quite a few of Baudelaire’s poems. Never has she equalled Baudelaire. She admits it. There is a haunting music in Baudelaire’s verse. This comes from the rhyme and metre of the original French verse as well as the beauty of the French language. When she tries to capture the musicality, she can only do so by sacrificing linguistic accuracy. When she aims for linguistic accuracy, the music suffers.

    This is how it is. Most translators are only too happy if they can give a linguistically accurate version of the original. The “atmosphere”, the “music”, the magical “sound effects”, these are extras.

    How can anyone translate Shakespeare’s lines from the Witch’s chorus in Macbeth:

    “Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

    You can almost see the liquid boiling in the cauldron, all those “b” sounds.

    1. On exceptionally rare occasions, Lasha tells me, the translation can be superior to the original. But I won’t go into that here. This can only be achieved, she says, with help from a hidden source. In other words, through divine or angelic inspiration.

  3. GFS —

    Mi è piaciuto leggere la tua traduzione di questa bellissima poesia più dell’originale. Questo perché, come parlante italiano, posso capire il tuo italiano molto più facilmente dell’originale inglese. Dopo tutto, le traduzioni in italiano non sono destinate a persone di lingua inglese. Sono destinati solo agli italiani.

      1. I agree with Petra, Gian.
        An excellent translation in every way!
        Keep up the good work.

        The original is also exceptionally good
        in a creative, myth-making way.
        Which the translation faithfully conveys to the reader.

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