BUENOS AIRES

di Dino Campana

Il bastimento avanza lentamente

Nel grigio del mattino tra la nebbia

Sull’acqua gialla d’un mare fluviale

Appare la città grigia e velata.

Si entra in un porto strano. Gli emigranti

Impazzano e inferocian accalcandosi

Nell’aspra ebbrezza d’imminente lotta.

Da un gruppo d’italiani ch’è vestito

In un modo ridicolo alla moda

Bonearense si gettano arance

Ai paesani stralunati e urlanti.

Un ragazzo dal porto leggerissimo

Prole di libertà, pronto allo slancio

Li guarda colle mani nella fascia

Variopinta ed accenna ad un saluto.

Ma ringhiano feroci gli italiani.

BUENOS AIRES

by Dino Campana

The passenger ship advances slowly

In the grey morning through the fog

On the yellow waters of a fluvial sea

Appears the city ashen and veiled.

We enter a strange port. The emigrants

Go mad, they grow fierce, they throng

In the acrid elation of imminent battle.

From a group of Italians dressed

Ridiculously in the fashion of

Buenos Aires oranges are tossed

To the dazed and squawking paesani .

A boy, very slight of frame

The offspring of liberty, ready to act,

Looks on, and clutching a coloured

Ribbon he raises his hand in greeting.

But the Italians snarl ferociously.

.

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

The poem “Buenos Aires” by Dino Campana, from Inediti, was first written in a travel log where Campana wrote what he called “impressioni d’arte”, artistic impressions. Although the poet is on the same ship with other emigrants he is detached, almost hostile. The verbs and adjectives he uses are harsh, critical of the fellow travellers, the “paesani”, “fierce” and “squawking”. He was 23 when he emigrated to Buenos Aires in search of a new life and with a desire to learn about new places and new peoples.

http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/c/campana/inediti/pdf/inedit_p.pdf

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