|La domenica dell’ulivo
Di Giovanni Pascoli
Hanno compiuto in questo dì gli uccelli
il nido (oggi è la festa dell’ulivo)
di foglie secche, radiche, fuscelli;
quel sul cipresso, questo su l’alloro,
al bosco, lungo il chioccolo d’un rivo,
nell’ombra mossa d’un tremolìo d’oro.
E covano sul musco e sul lichene
fissando muti il cielo cristallino,
con improvvisi palpiti, se viene
un ronzio d’ape, un vol di maggiolino.
By Giovanni Pascoli
They have prepared this day the birds
a nest (today is Olive Sunday)
of wilted shoots, roots and twigs;
one on the cypress, another on the laurel,
in the woods, along the shores of a torrent,
in the shadows moved by tremulous aurum.
And nesting on the moss and the lichen
in silence gazing at the crystal sky,
sudden throbbing when frightened
by the humming of a bee, the soaring of a fly.
Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi
Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912) was possibly the greatest Italian poet writing at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The poem, Olive Sunday, is from the collection Myricae, 1891-1903. The translation represented certain difficulties: enjambment in the verses 1 and 2; tricolon in verse 3; synesthesia in verse 6 “tremolio d’oro“; consonance in verse 3 (FOglie e FUscelli e tra secCHE e radiCHE; assonance in verse 5 (bOscO, lungO il chiOccOlO d’un rivO), which gives us a sense of darkness (also expressed in “ombra mossa” verse 6); assonance in verse 9 with the letter I (ImprovvIsI palpItI, se vIene); the rhyme scheme (abadcbdefef), and finally another enjambment in verses 9 and 10. Obviously, and although I tried, much was lost in translation.
[Olive Sunday is more commonly known today as Palm Sunday: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11432b.htm ]
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