Aspra son io come quel vento vivo
di marzo, il quale par crudo di geli
ma discioglie la neve su pel clivo.
Vento di marzo che agita gli steli
pigri, scopre vïole in mezzo all’erba,
scompiglia erranti nuvole pei cieli.
Asprigna io sono e rido un poco acerba.
Mordere più che accarezzar mi piace
ed apparir più che non sia superba.
Come il vento di marzo io non do pace.
Godo sferzare ogni anima sopita,
e trarne l’ire a un impeto vivace
per sentirla vibrar fra le mie dita.
Acerbic I am like the wild wind
in March which seems raw with icy cold
but melts the snow far up on the hill.
Wind in March that agitates the slow
stalks, uncovers violets in the lea,
dishevels errant clouds in the blue.
Acrid am I and I laugh acidly.
Biting rather than nestling pleases me
and being loud rather than haughty.
Like the wind in March I am wearing.
I enjoy stirring somnolent souls
and wresting anger in a lively stream
to feel it tremble in my palms.
Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2021
From the collection of poems, “I serpenti di Medusa” by Amalia Guglielminetti
When translating poetry, you always have to sacrifice something: do you keep the metre; do you keep the rhyme; do you keep the exact words? Something always goes missing; and that missing thing is enough to torture the translator. For example, most of the rhymes found in this poem in translation are, in fact, imperfect; and the assonance is often unlike the original; but I hope the feelings and imagery are not all lost. Sometimes to recreate a repetition or an alliteration or a consonance or assonance, I had to stretch the meaning a bit… As always, I did my best, tripping and falling all the while. – M.C.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
3 thoughts on “Amalia Guglielminetti: Asprezze/ Acerbities”
Matti, you are right: something has to give. Terza rima always seemed difficult to me. Same with this.
But I like what you did, and felt the wind do all the things the poet said. I think the poem fits the Red Maple best, where I live, near the western Mid-Atlantic coast.
I wondered about the choice of “wearing,” rather than “wearying.” Such an unusual verb, anyway, in that it is medio-passive.
I continue to enjoy your work, which provides valuable treasure.
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It’s funny you should comment on wearing! I kept going back and forth between wearying/wearing…but in my last read out loud, I liked the wearing with stirring. The extra syllable sounded off. But who knows? As always, thank you so much for your feedback!❤
Matti, I did not catch your play with “stirring;” I allied “stirring” with “somnolent souls” for that alliteration of wind sounds and the theme of roots reaching into the soil to loft leaves heavenward. I had even thought of “leave” in lieu of “laugh” earlier in the poem, but decided it was too far off. Back to “weary” v. “wearying”: you are right about the stretching of the mora with the extra [-y]. Fun. Thank you. JAR