Eduardo De Filippowas and will be remembered as a great actor of theater and cinema, but not everyone knows that, in addition to being a great playwright, he has also written numerous poems. I’m going to propose you the one entitled “Pensieri Miei” (My Thoughts or I think it should be more suitable to translate as Thoughts of mine), and even daring to translate it into English.
It’s a poem about our “thoughts” that, as Eduardo says, they often do not have the courage to come out intact (nude), like they are born. And even if they would do, at cost of their life, then there will be always someone who tries to “cover” them. You will certainly understand that it is a metaphor.
THOUGHTS OF MINE
Penziere mieje, levàteve sti panne,
stracciàtev’ ‘a cammisa, e ascite annuro.
Si nun tenite n’abito sicuro,
tanta vestite che n’avit’ ‘a fa?
Menàteve spugliate mmiez’ ‘a via,
e si facite folla, cammenate.
Si sentite strillà, nun ve fermate:
nu penziero spugliato ‘a folla fa.
Currite ncopp’ ‘a cimma ‘e na muntagna,
e quanno ‘e piede se sò cunzumate:
un’ànema e curaggio, e ve menate…
nzerrano ll’uocchie, primm’ ‘e ve menà!
Ca ve trovano annuro? Nun fa niente.
Ce sta sempe nu tizio canusciuto,
ca nun ‘o ddice… ca rimmane muto…
e ca ve veste, primm’ ‘e v’atterrà.
Thoughts of mine, take off your clothes
tear the shirt and outputs naked.
If you do not keep a precise dress,
why do you have so many clothes?
Go stripped out in the street,
and if it becomes crowded in, walk.
If you hear screaming, do not stop,
a nude thought attracts crowd.
Run over the top of a mountain,
and when your feet will be worn out:
with spirit and courage, throw yourself…
closing your eyes before jumping!
Do they find you nude? It does not matter.
There is always a known guy
who will say nothing… who will stay silent…
and who will dress you before burying.
If you’ll be able to be close to me
and we could be different.
If the sun will shine on both,
without our shadows overlapping.
If we’ll be able to be “us” in the middle of the world,
and together with the world, cry, laugh, live.
If every day it will be to discover what we’re,
and the memory of how we were.
If we’ll be able to grant each other,
without knowing who is the first and the last.
If your body will sing with mine because together is joy,
then it will be Love
and wont have been vain to wait much each other.
Literal translation of a beautiful poem by a non-professional Italian author, Ettore Grimani, and that mistakenly on the web has often been saddled to Mahatma Gandhi, because it looks like a prayer. The title typed is the real one, even if someone has entitled it “take a smile”.
Act of Love
Take a smile,
give it those who never had it.
Take a sunbeam,
let it fly where the night reigns.
Discover a source,
wet those who live in mud.
Take a tear, lay it on the face of those who never cry.
Take the courage,
put it in the soul of those who don’t know how to fight.
tell it to those who don’t understand it.
Take the hope,
and live in its light.
and give it to those who don’t know how to give.
and convey it to the world.
Erri De Luca is a Neapolitan novelist, translator and poet, some years ago described as “the writer of the decade”.
He is self-taught in several languages including Ancient Hebrew and Yiddish. Although he never stopped writing since he was 20, his first book has been published in 1989. Many more books followed, best sellers in Italy, France and Israel, his work being translated and published in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Holland, USA, Brazil, Poland, Norway, Danmark, Romania, Greece, Lithuania, and more and more. He has himself translated several books of the Bible into Italian and explored various aspects of Judaism, as a non-believer.
What I post today is a poetry entitled “Value”, taken from his “Opera on the water and other poems” of 2002, of which I’ve tried to do a decent translation. In a world where many values are gone lost and where many small things have no more value, this poetry becomes very current. Hope you like.
I consider a “value” all form of life, the snow, the strawberry, the fly.
I consider value the mineral kingdom, the Assembly of the Stars.
I consider value the wine until the meal goes on, an involuntary smile,
the weariness of those who has not saved himself,
two old people who love each other.
I consider value what tomorrow will be worthless
and what today still has a little value.
I consider value any wound,
consider value saving the water, repair a pair of shoes, silent in time,
rushing to a cry, ask for permission before sit down, feel gratitude without remembering the reason.
I consider value the knowledge of where is the north in a room,
what’s the name of the wind that is drying the laundry.
I consider value the voyage of a tramp, the reclusion of a nun,
the patience of a convicted, whatever is the blame.
I consider value the use of the verb ‘to love’ and the idea that there is a creator.
Many of these values I have not known.