Ciant da li ciampanis/ Chant of the church bells by Pier Paolo Pasolini

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Ciant da li ciampanis

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Co la sera a si pièrt ta li fontanis
il me país al è colòur smarít.
Jo i soi lontàn, recuardi li so ranis,
la luna, il trist tintinulà dai gris.
A bat Rosari, pai pras al si scunís:
jo i soj muàrt al ciant da li ciampanis.
Forèst, al me dols svualà par il plan,
no ciapà pòura: jo i soj un spirt di amòur
che al so país al torna di lontàn.

Chant of the church bells

Pier Paolo Pasolini

When night is lost in the fountains
my town is of colour mislaid.
I myself am far, I remember the frogs,
the moon, the sad chatter of its crickets.
Rosary tolls, and over the leas it sighs:
I myself am dead to the sound of the bells.
Stranger, my gentle flight over the plain,
do not fear: I myself am a spirit of love,
who returns to his town from afar.

Translation @Matilda Colarossi 2018

Canto delle campane

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Quando la sera si perde nelle fontane,
il mio paese è di colore smarrito.
Io sono lontano, ricordo le sue rane,
la luna, il triste tremolare dei grilli.
Suona Rosario, e si sfiata per i prati:
io sono morto al canto delle campane.
Straniero, al mio dolce volo per il piano,
non aver paura: io sono uno spirito d’amore,
che al suo paese torna di lontano.

(Translated from Friulan dialect by the author, Pier Paolo Pasolini

Ciant da li ciampanis is from the collection La meglio gioventù by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sansoni, 1954

I connected immediately with the poem, because, especially during the holidays, our memories go back to distant times passed in the places of our youth, what is gone both because the world has changed and because we live so far away. The poet looks back on his youth with regret: there lie his origins, the language of his lullabies. In an article published in “Paese Sera” in 1974, the poet stated: “It is this boundless farm-life, pre-rational and preindustrial, which continued until just a few years ago, that I miss […] The dialects (maternal idioms!) have distanced themselves in time and in space.”

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