The Smile

 

by William Blake

 There is a Smile of Love

And there is a Smile of Deceit

And there is a Smile of Smiles

In which these two Smiles meet

.

And there is a Frown of Hate

And there is a Frown of Disdain

And there is a Frown of Frowns

Which you strive to forget in vain

.

For it sticks in the Hearts deep Core

And it sticks in the deep Back bone

And no Smile that ever was smild

But only one Smile alone

.

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave

It only once Smild can be

But when it once is Smild

Theres an end to all Misery

.

(from the Pickering Manuscript, circa 1803)

Il sorriso

 

di William Blake

C’è un  Sorriso d’Amore

E c’è un Sorriso d’ Apparenza

E c’è un Sorriso dei Sorrisi

Nei quali fanno conoscienza

.

E c’è uno Sguardo d’Odio

E c’è uno Sguardo di Sdegno

E c’è uno Sguardo degli Sguardi

Che dimenticar io sogno

.

Perchè si fissa dentr’il Cuore

E si fissa nel più Profondo

E nessun Sorriso mai sorriso

Ma un Sorriso soltanto

.

Che tra la Culla e la Tomba

Sol’una volta avviene

E quand’è stato Sorriso

È la fine di tutte le Pene

.

(dal Manoscritto Pickering, 1803)

Traduzione @1G Liceo Capponi*

A simple poem, seemingly simple, but that is exactly what makes it so difficult to translate. However, my first year high-school students took pen and paper, put their heads together, and did exactly this. I would like to thank them for their enthusiasm, vitality, courage and trust (in me, in poetry, in Blake). They are (in order of appearance on my *register): Elettra, Sara, Elena A., Marisol, Floriana, Alice, Elena C., Simona, Arianna, Gea, Sveva, Margherita, Margherita F., Luisa, Ghila, Arianna, Anna, Sophia, Emma, Elena R., Agata, Angela, Giulia, Gaia, Sara T., Emma V.. A special thank you to my colleague, Silvia Lucci. M.C.

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