poet

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Gabriele D’Annunzio

Published March 8, 2013 by Tony

The aidoiomaniac D’Annunzio
An Intellectual More than a Playboy

Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863 -1938), also known as “il Vate” (the prophet), was an Italian writer, poet, politician and journalist, who coming from a middle class family became a symbol of the Italian Decadence and famous for his compositions as well as for his particular sexual habits.
Porco alato e geniale” (Pig winged and genius), he described himself, while biographers addressed him as “Genius and recklessness“.  Among the aspects of the writer’s Decadence, there is aestheticism art, or art conceived as Beauty which must be above all; the practical aestheticism, according to which also the life must be realized in absolute freedom, outside and above every law and moral restraint; the panismo which is the tendency to surrender to the life of the senses and instincts, and finally the man as “superman“, the ruler of a world beyond good and evil, where instinct is the only truth because morality is a lie, and where the man that resembles the beast then outdoes man, beyond human becoming hero, while getting rid of the ethics that prohibits lust, he can dare everything that gives pleasure. A description, this, that is very close to the aberrant “Superman” concept conceived by Nietzsche.

Already in his youth, d’Annunzio showed an ambitious and uninhibited character and, in fact, at sixteen already had his first sexual experience. In Florence, during a school trip, he evaded janitor’s surveillance and with a gold wristwatch, a gift of his grandfather, paid a prostitute with whom he wished to have sex.
In 1881 he moved to Rome to continue his studies at the university, where,  trying to reach fame and glory, attended worldly circles of Roman salons, beginning to appreciate the sumptuous and scandalous lives of the rich bourgeoisie, through adventures and love stories. His exceptional sexuality blew and he will earn in emotions and sex delights, even if this entailed moral values violation. According to some biographers, his actual d'Annunzio at 10 yearsmistresses were hundred and fifty. Half a thousand for some, and even four thousand according to others, with the inevitable cocaine snorting.

As the biographers say, this “sex superman” really did not love all those women, except perhaps, a little bit, Maria Hardouin and Eleonora Duse. Maria Hardouin was the daughter of Giulio, Duke of Gallese, who d’Annunzio married at 20 years in 1883, probably for reasons of interest and because of noble rank. They had met a few years earlier and a love at first sight, but even though a minor, during a walk the lecherous man took her to a grove, on the outskirts of Rome, and deflowered her. Among the collection of poems “Intermezzo di rime” also is included “Peccato di maggio“, in which the writer described in detail what happened in the woods. The young Duchess soon became pregnant, raising a scandal. The Duke Giulio, furious, vetoed the marriage and denounced d’Annunzio for corruption of minors, despite his wife, Mary’s mother, called for a shotgun wedding. In response, the two lovers fled together and got married in a hurry, but without the consent of the duke, who did not want to see anymore both his daughter and the son-in-law.

A marriage that will last long but unfortunate for the young lady, also if from their union were born three children. “My dear Gabriele was a husband physically incapable of being faithful,” the Duchess bitterly confessed later, when after the third child will separate from him. In fact, the new series of post-marriage lovers began immediately with the journalist Olga Roman Ossani, then followed by Elvira Natalia Fraternali, estranged wife of Count Ercole Leoni, although in the meantime the writer were not shirking to his conjugal “duty”. Hard days for Elvira because meantime the “supreme Vate”  had already set his sights on the Sicilian Princess Maria Gravina Cruyllas Ramacca, which he called a “erotic nymphomaniac”. A good match! In a tormented relationship lasted three years, the Sicilian princess gave birth to two children, Ariel’s sons (the personal nickname of the poet), who legitimated only the first child. It was 1895 when he began his relationship with the famous actress Eleonora Duse, who was in search of a true love and believed to have found it by Ariel. And the illusion of love will cost her dearly, and not just for the money that the loved boyfriend snatched her by deception, but because while she was sacrifying her prestige, exposing herself to the audience boos, he already was enjoying with a new paramour, the young actress Juliet Gordigiani. Actress, young and beautiful, but poor and this was not good for him that needed rich women. “I forgive him to Maria Gravina with the daugtherhave abused of myself, ruined and humiliated me. I forgive everything because I loved him”,  Duse said when left him definitively.

After a while, the tireless lover found another right woman, Alessandra Starabba Rudini, twenty-eight beautiful and rich, widow of the Marquis Carlotti.
His biographers say that in three years of living together, the great showman D’Annunzio got by the Marchesa Rudini amounts ten times higher than the one extorted to Duse in nine years. The last two years were very sad for the marquise because fell seriously ill, but meanwhile, the host had already a new mistress for giving vent to his inexhaustible lust, the Countess Josephine Mancini.
However, when he was no longer able to cope with the many creditors, decided it was time for a change of scenery and moved alone to Paris. The great seducer had already chosen the appropriate girlfriend to live and work peacefully in Paris, the Russian countess (French by adoption) Natalia de Goloubeff, 27, separated from her husband, who welcomed him at her home in Paris. The combination was perfect, he needed money and she sex.
Fool of the blackest Slavic massacre,” he said about her, as she considered him “crazy for sex and beautiful women, virile and perfumed as few“. But, as soon as her financial resources were lost, due to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, Ariel left her. During the last of the five years spent in Paris, he had some French sex playmates, as Marie de Regnier and Amélie Mazoyer, his housekeeper nicknamed Aelis (24 years less than the prophet), who followed him in Italy, when he returned in 1915 to become a soldier, enlisting as a volunteer during the First World War.
Besides devotion, one of Aelis’s quality that d’Annunzio appreciated more, especially with the passing of years, was a not common skill for fellatio, hence her nickname Aelis from helice, “helix” in French. “She has a beautiful mouth, in addition to the hand that gives oblivion,” Gabriele said of her.
During the conflict he lost partial vision in one eye, but as a man of theater, he participated more in the war performing on the stage, representing his true and false war actions, rather than by real.
In 1921, in Gardone, in the picturesque scenery of Lake Garda, d’Annunzio found the house of his dreams: a large villa of 36 rooms, which he titled the “Vittoriale of the Italians”.  After the restoration work, carried out with the financial support of Mussolini, he made it a national monument, donating it to the Italian State for paying his debts.
Mussolini also gave him what the bourgeois writer always had dreamed, Eleonora Duseproposing him for a nobiliar title, then conferred in 1924 by King Vittorio Emanuele III, letting he became the Prince of Montenevoso.

In spite of his advanced age, in those years other lovers followed, as the writer from Trieste Olga Levi Brunner,  the Venetian pianist Luisa Bàccara, and a certain Leila, all younger than him.
In that palace-mausoleum, the Prince of Montenevoso spent the last seventeen years of his mad and adventurous life, with profound suffering for his physical decline, often expressed by behavioral oddities and excessive frugality or sullenness, but always obsessed by sex, by frantic search of pleasure, eroticism and lust, and now even devoting more himself in masturbation, despite the age.
The last two women that remained close to him, were the faithful Aélis and Bàccara, forced to watch also to his bleak and dismal degradation, like satyr erotic rites that the seventy year old man organized from time to time. Gabriele d’Annunzio, the magician of perversion, among other things also invented the macabre eroticism, while lying naked in a coffin some prostitutes, also naked, kissed him from head to toe. Although nothing is written about, it is said that the teacher did not disdained others pervy sex affairs like pissing, shitting, and that maybe took away two ribs to better practice self-fellatio, all things truly uncommon for that era.
Gabriele d’Annunzio died at 75 years for a brain hemorrhage, and at his funeral, as well as Mussolini, attended his wife with three children, Amélie Mazoyer and Luisa Baccara, (Duse had died 14 years before). As he had Amélie Mazoyerdecided, was buried in the small temple of the Holocaust, on top of the Vittoriale.

D’Annunzio was not handsome, neither rich, nor reliable, and for this arises the question, what did so many ladies, rich and beautiful, drive in his arms?!
Probably, the famous American dancer Isadora Duncan was right, saying about him, “a lover so great as to turn the most ordinary woman, and give her for a moment the appearance of a celestial being?”
The perverse lover designed by himself some clothes and then gave them to women, from time to time, to wear and represent the erotic scene that he had chosen. Clothes that transformed them in moths ready to burn devoutly wings to his flame. Only the sinuous and fatal painter Tamara de Lempicka was able to sneak out from the arms of the famous satyr.
In his house also special perfumes and incense were not lacking, as well as a well equipped wardrobe in which were found two hundred silk shirts, fifty hats  two hundred pairs among shoes and boots, three hundred pairs of socks, fifty silk pajamas and gowns, and boxes with vagina’s hairs that he kept in memory of his mistresses. Just “an animal of luxury” as he called himself.  “When D’Annunzio loves a woman, exalts and elevates the soul above the earth, to the divine regions where moves and shines Dante’s Beatrice. From time to time, he let women participate in the divine essence and leads so high as to cause them to imagine they are really on the same level of Beatrice… there was a time in Paris, where the cult of D’Annunzio touched dizzying heights and they were all famous beauties to love him. But when the whim of the poet ended, he abandoned his mistress on duty for another“, so Mrs. Duncan wrote in her memoirs, who had with d’Annunzio an intense but short relationship.
In fact, it was always him to tire of the most beautiful and passionate women.
His only fault, if it can be defined so, was the bad habit of wasting considerable wealth for voluptuous things, and for this he is often found in bad waters and full of debt,  for which in 1910, there will seizure and sale of his goods.

The women he met, young and old, were all at his feet, happy to be desired by the most famous “tombeur de femmes” of Italian literature, ready to give herself to him body and soul, and that in addition to opening their legs, also opened their bags to pay his debts.
If it is not for wellness or charm, then why that? This is a good reason to suppose that D’Annunzio was a gifted, moreover, in an old Italian porno film, during the pioneer and illegal pornography period, among other collaborators in the captions is also read the name of Gabriele D’Annunzio. Of course, besides the use of the word, he knew how to use his sexual organ that he called “gonfalon selvaggio” (wild flag), and his exceptional libido led him to have, evidently, sexual performance record, or more intercourse without long breaks, and not for nothing that he was labeled “thirsty for sex“, all things that, alas, ravish many women.

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LUCIO DALLA

Published March 3, 2013 by Tony

IN MEMORY OF LUCIO

Lucio Dalla

“Large sheets to cover ourselves I do not have…. and if life has no dreams I’ll take them and give to you”

Today is your birthday… best wishes to you, Lucio!

Lucio Dalla (Bologna, March 4, 1943 – Montreux, 1 March 2012) was a musician and a popular Italian singer-songwriter.
Nobody expected it and the morning of 1 March 2012, by a heart attack at age 69 in the Ritz Hotel in Montreux, where he had performed the night before, Lucio left us, with discretion but too soon!

Throughout his long career, which reached fifty years of activity, he has also performed as a keyboardist, saxophonist, and playing the clarinet, his passion from an early age.His extensive artistic production has gone through many phases, from the beat to the rhythmic and musical experimentation, from the songwriting till the boundaries of classical music and opera. Lucio Dalla was also an author known abroad with some of his songs translated and brought to success in several languages, in addition to many duet with artists, nationally and internationally.
Its success takes root in 1971, when for the third time he participated at the Festival of Sanremo with the song “4/3/1943” (his birthdate), a censored song initially called “Gesù Bambino” (Baby Jesus), and that talks about a girl mother, who has a son with an unknown ally soldier.
The success was consolidated the following year when still in Sanremo he sang the touching “Piazza Grande“, dedicated to a homeless man in Bologna, his beloved hometown where he lived. The city that in 1999 gave him an honorary degree in “Arts and Lucio DallaPhilosophy”.
During his career he has worked with numerous artists, Gino Paoli, Luigi Tenco, Roberto Roversi, Francesco De Gregori, the Stadio, Ron, Gianni Morandi, through whose collaboration many of his songs were born.
In March 1986 the tour with the group “Stadio”, for a series of concerts abroad, culminated with performances in the United States from which the double live album “Dallamericaruso.” arose. In this album is the song “Caruso”, that recounts the last days of the great tenor, and that will give to the singer from Emilia-Romagna, an extraordinary success. The song, which has sold nearly 9 million copies worldwide, is now considered a classic of Italian music. Over the years, the song has been interpreted by many artists of various nationalities, including Mercedes Sosa, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Lara Fabian, Julio Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The song translated into several languages, to date, has sold over 38 million copies worldwide. The singer has repeatedly explained the genesis of this song: “a song of the heart,” born from an intense and unexpected trip in Sorrento. Because of a boat broken, he was forced to stop along the Sorrento coastline, in the same hotel and room where years before the great tenor Enrico Caruso had died.
Lucio’s mother was originally from Puglia, where the singer often went, and here his love for the South and especially for the sea was born, to the point to spend every summer at Tremiti Isles, as well as Lucio loved Naples, where often he docked his boat. In fact, in 1997 he was awarded the “Honorary Citizenship” from the town of Sorrento. Once he said: “I have been influenced by the existence of Totò (note, the Neapolitan artist Antonio De Curtis Gagliardi), in all its forms, for me he was a myth. The beauty of Totò is the beauty of Naples. Naples, not easy to say, seems a city, but is not, it is a nation, a republic….. the admiration I have for Naples’s people was born out by this love for Totò…. Naples is the mystery of life, good and evil are mixed, but pulsate however“. About his love for the South, in an interview he said: “It was during these vacations as an emigrant backwards, which took place in me the split between two different ways of living. So today I have two souls: the northern one (orderly, efficient, futuristic, perfectionist, demanding to themselves and to others) and southern (disorganized, wild, sensual, dreamy, mystical), it is in the south that I became religious, of a religion frantic, irrational“.
Marco AlemannoFrom February 2007 began a collaboration with Marco Tutino, artistic director of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, for the preparation of some opera and theater works, and it is here that the long-lasting friendship with Marco Alemanno, becomes more apparent. The Lucio Dalla “different” sexual orientation was known to his few close friends and not to the public, at least not officially. Although because of his success he had the “prigs” (fucking moralists) in the palm of his hand, Lucio remained silent, refusing to declare his homosexuality, fearful of the moralists’ judgment, as if, on the contrary, they were to have him on a string. That is why he had to “disguise” his feelings in the songs, sometimes inventing female names and faces of fantasy. He gave and inspired emotions, hiding his own ones.
Marco Alemanno, born in 1980, left his small town to pursue his passion for art in the city of the great Lucio Dalla, where their paths crossed to then separate tragically on March 1st of 2012. Marco followed him in every show and in every battle. In 2007, Marco appears on Lucio Dalla album “Il Contrario di me” (The opposite of me), as producer and co-author of some texts. The following year, he publishes “Gli occhi di Lucio” (Lucio’s eyes), a book with a DVD-written with Lucio and containing Dalla photographs and unpublished writings. Marco appears again in 2009 as artistic producer and co-author of some songs in the album “Angoli nel cielo” (Angles in the sky), and the year after participated in Dalla & De Gregori tour “Work in progress”, as singer and narrator.
Marco Alemanno has gained a lot of notoriety for the moving words with which he reminded Lucio on the occasion of his funeral in Bologna. His talk brought some controversy about the fact that the singer had never formalized his relationship with him, while the Catholic Church has condemned his intervention during the funerals in church. In his funeral speech, Mark has played some verses of the song by Lucio “Le Rondini” (The Swallows): “I would like to understand, in short, what love is, where is that you take and give it”.  Then, before bursting into tears, adding: “For some time now I had the pleasure, honor and privilege to grow alongside Lucio, singer, musician, filmmaker, and above all the man, eternal child, to whom I owe so much.

Since the singer did not leave a will, his inheritance, estimated at approximately 100 million euros, will be divided between his five first cousins. In the absence of a specific bequest, Marco Alemanno, intimate partner and resident in the same house for several years, has no legal rights.

I want to highlight that, although the ‘coming out‘ is a something useful and liberating for themselves and for those who are less strong, we cannot expect it to be a mandatory practice. People are different, have different thoughts and stories, and there are no rules with regard to their privacy. It would be nice and fair that we all take for granted that love, joy & sorrow’s sharing, and humanity were fixed rules regardless of our beliefs. And then “everyone will love how it goes,” as our dear friend Lucio sang and hoped.

Although the discography of this great songwriter includes twenty-two studio album for the Italian market, a Q Disc, nine live albums, several books and albums for the foreign market, among the many beautiful songs that Lucio has left us, and in addition to those already mentioned, I want to mention: L’Anno che verrà, Attenti Al Lupo, Anna E Marco, Tu Non Mi Basti Mai, Come E’ Profondo il Mare, Caro Amico Ti Scrivo, Stella Di Mare, Disperato Erotico Stomp, L’Ultima Luna, Telefonami Tra Vent’anni, Un Uomo Come Me, Cara, Nuvolari, Il Gigante e La Bambina, Balla Balla Ballerino, Futura.  (The Year to come, The Wolf, Anna and Mark, I Just Do not You Never Come and ‘Deep Sea, Dear Friend I am writing, Star of the Sea, Erotic Stomp, The Last Moon, Call me Between Twenty years, A Man Like Me, Honey, Nuvolari, The Giant and The Child, Dance dance Dancer, Futura).

Here’s the literal translation of his words showed in the picture below the title.

“Of many houses, not any one that has no windows, any shred of sky over the roofs of the city, where I lived and where I listened, checked, tried the beating of your heart, your breaths, your curses, the noise of your dreams, the mysterious small daily killings and the miraculous births that every day God sends us and which take place under the skies of all countries and of all the cities on overcast nights of stars. It is from there that have fallen words, stones, stories and sounds that arrive to me by the beautiful deception of love that never ends, or the sensuality of the best encounters, those dreamed, those where there are no more break ups, where you don’t die or die is just disappearing under a sweet, lovely snowfall. It is from that glimpse of heaven and heart that I will listen to you even when no one will listen to me, that I’ll still be looking for you although you will not be looking for me anymore. And from up there, until there will be a window, my heart will sing the life and story that takes it.”

.

Dear Lucio, although I respect your discretion and silence, I would have liked if you had had the courage to shout to the world your “diversity“, because coming from a great man like you, this would tell someone else that there is no “diversity” as these others still think.


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ERRI DE LUCA

Published October 8, 2012 by Tony

The value of things

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.

VALUE

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.

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Antonio De Curtis

Published September 10, 2012 by Tony

“THE LEVEL” BY TOTO’

Antonio De Curtis best known by his stage name Totò (15 February 1898–15 April 1967) and whose complete name is prince Antonio Focas Flavio Angelo Ducas Comneno De Curtis di Bisanzio Gagliardi, was an Italian comedian, film and theatre actor, writer, singer and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest Italian artists of the 20th century and loved by every Neapolitan as he was born in Naples and often talked in Neapolitan dialect. While he first gained his popularity as a comic actor, his dramatic roles, his poetry, and his songs are all deemed to be outstanding; his style and a number of his recurring jokes and gestures have become universally known memes in Italy. Probably people overseas do not know him, but for us Neapolitans Totò has become an icon, a legend whose name appears in all the encyclopedias.
If I had to pick one thing that Toto has done and that every Italian knows, I couldn’t not mention his poem entitled “La Livella” (The spirit Level), published in 1952, which for us is a must. A long poem set in a Neapolitan cemetery where the death and the dead persons are the protagonists.
But here the death does not frighten, the contrary is a source of humor and theatricality in an attempt to defuse act to allow the reader to appreciate not only poetry in and of itself, but also its high message, a metaphor which serves to enhance life before the death. Because as Totò says, death is like a “level” that leads to a world where there are no racial or social distinction. Everyone is equal to others being on the same “level”, whether during the earthly life he has been a king or a beggar.  For you it can appear a simple assumption, but hilariously told through a poem that looks more like a sketch, comic in the appearance but serious and grave in its meaning.

After a quick search on the internet, I think nobody has ever done a good English translation of this poem, so I will take a stab at doing it now. Obviously, the translation will lead to the loss of rhymes, while I have been obliged to adapt some ancient Neapolitan terms that have no equivalent in English.

  ‘A LIVELLA                                                                  THE LEVEL

Ogn’anno, il due novembre, c’è usanza

Every year, on November 2, it’s common for (1)

per i defunti andare al Cimitero.

the (day of the) Dead to go to the cemetery.

Ognuno ll’adda fà chesta crianza,

Everyone must do this good action,

ognuno adda tené chistu penziero.

everyone should have this attention.

 

 

Ogn’anno, puntualmente,in questo giorno

Every year, exactly on this day,

di questa triste e mesta ricorrenza,

of this sad and woeful celebration,

anch’io ci vado, e con dei fiori adorno

I go there too, and adorn with flowers

il loculo marmoreo ‘e zi’ Vicenza.

the grave stone of aunt Vincenza.

 

 

St’anno m’é capitato ‘navventura…

This year I have had an misadventure …

dopo di aver compiuto il triste omaggio,

after completed the sad homage,

Madonna! si ce penzo,e che paura!

oh my God! what a fear! If I think about it,

ma po’ facette un’anema e curaggio.

but then I took heart and courage.

 

 

‘O fatto è chisto, statemi a sentire:

The fact is this, listen to me:

s’avvicinava ll’ora d’à chiusura

it was time for the closing

io, tomo tomo, stavo per uscire

and I, slow…slow, was going to leave

buttando un occhio a qualche sepoltura.

having a look at some grave.

 

 

“Qui dorme in pace il nobile marchese

“Here sleeps in peace the noble Marquess

signore di Rovigo e di Belluno

lord of Rovigo and Belluno

ardimentoso eroe di mille imprese 

brave hero of a thousand feats 

morto l’11 maggio del ’31”

died on May 11 , ‘31 ” (2)

 

 

‘O stemma cu ‘a curona ‘ncoppa a tutto…

The coat of arms with a crown on top …

…sotto ‘na croce fatta ‘e lampadine,

a cross made with bulbs below,

tre mazze ‘e rose cu ‘na lista ‘e lutto,

three bunches of roses with a mourning list,

cannele,cannelotte e sei lumine.

candles, big candles and six grave-lights.

 

 

Proprio azzeccata ‘a tomba ‘e stu signore

Just close to the tomb of this gentleman

nce stava ‘n ‘ata tomba piccerella,

there was another tomb,  small,

abbandunata, senza manco un fiore,

abandoned without even a flower,

pe’ segno,sulamente ‘na crucella.

as a sign only a little cross.

 

 

E ncoppa ‘a croce appena se liggeva:

And on the cross barely read:

“Esposito Gennaro – netturbino”,

“Gennaro Esposito – garbage man”, (3)

guardannola, che ppena me faceva

looking at it, what a pity,

stu muorto senza manco nu lumino!

a dead without even a candle! (4)

 

 

Questa è la vita! ‘ncapo a me penzavo…

This is the life! I thought to myself …

chi ha avuto tanto e chi nun ave niente!

who had had much and those who has nothing!

Stu povero maronna s’aspettava

This poor fellow would have expected

ca pur all’atu munno era pezzente?

that even in the other world was wretched?

 

 

Mentre fantasticavo stu penziero,

As I mulled this thought,

s’era ggià fatta quase mezanotte,

it had already made ​​nearly midnight,

e i’rimanette ‘nchiuso priggiuniero,

and I remained close, captive and (5)

muorto ‘e paura…nnanze ‘e cannelotte.

scared to death.. in front of the grave-lights.

 

 

Tutto a ‘nu tratto,che veco ‘a luntano?

All of a sudden, who do I see from afar?

Ddoje ombre avvicenarse ‘a parte mia…

Two shadows approaching on my side …

Penzaje:stu fatto a me mme pare strano…

I thought: this thing seems to be strange …

Stongo scetato…dormo,o è fantasia?

Am I awake… am sleeping, or is it fantasy?

 

 

Ate che fantasia;era ‘o Marchese:

There is not fantasy! There was the Marquis

c’o’ tubbo,’a caramella e c’o’ pastrano,

with topper, monocle and overcoat,

chill’ato apriesso a isso un brutto arnese;

and the one behind him, not fine-looking,

tutto fetente e cu ‘nascopa mmano.

all dirty and with a broom in his hand.

 

 

E chillo certamente è don Gennaro…

And that certainly is Don Gennaro …

‘omuorto puveriello…’o scupatore.

The died poor man… the street sweeper.

‘Int ‘a stu fatto i’ nun ce veco chiaro:

I do not understand this thing:

so’ muorte e se ritirano a chest’ora?

are they dead and get back at this hour?

 

 

Putevano sta’ ‘a me quase ‘nu palmo,

They could be almost a foot from me,

quanno ‘o Marchese se fermaje ‘e botto,

when the Marquis stopped suddenly,

s’avota e tomo tomo..calmo calmo,

turns and indifferent… calm calm

dicette a don Gennaro:”Giovanotto!

told to Don Gennaro: “Lad!

 

 

Da Voi vorrei saper, vile carogna,

I want to know from you, vile carrion,

con quale ardire e come avete osato

how daring and how do you have dared

di farvi seppellir,per mia vergogna,

to let yourself bury, to my shame,

accanto a me che sono blasonato!

next to me who are a noble!

 

 

La casta è casta e va, si, rispettata,

Caste is caste and must be respected,

ma Voi perdeste il senso e la misura;

But you lost the sense and moderation;

la Vostra salma andava, si, inumata,

Your body had to be inhumed, yes,

ma seppellita nella spazzatura!

but buried in the trash!

 

 

Ancora oltre sopportar non posso

I cannot bear further

la Vostra vicinanza puzzolente,

your smelly presence,

fa d’uopo, quindi, che cerchiate un fosso

thus, it’s necessary that you look for a grave

tra i vostri pari,tra la vostra gente”

among your peers, among your people”.

 

 

“Signor Marchese, nun è colpa mia,

“Mr. Marquis, it is not my fault,

i’nun v’avesse fatto chistu tuorto,

I would not have done this affront,

mia moglie è stata a ffa’ sta fesseria,

My wife did this foolish thing,

i’ che putevo fa’ si ero muorto?

What could I do if I was dead?

 

 

Si fosse vivo ve farrei cuntento,

If I were living I would make you happy,

pigliasse ‘a casciulella cu ‘e qquatt’osse

I’d take the coffin with the four bones

e proprio mo,obbj’…’nd’a stu mumento

and right now, really, in this moment

mme ne trasesse dinto a n’ata fossa”.

I would get in another grave.”

 

 

“E cosa aspetti,oh turpe malcreato,

“And what are you waiting, filthy badly created

che l’ira mia raggiunga l’eccedenza?

that my wrath reaches the surplus?

Se io non fossi stato un titolato

If I had not been a titled

avrei già dato piglio alla violenza!”

I’d already used violence! “

 

 

“Famme vedé..-piglia sta violenza…

“Let me see .. use this violence …

‘A verità,Marché,mme so’ scucciato

Marquis, in truth,  I’m tired

‘e te senti;e si perdo ‘a pacienza,

to listen to you, and if I lose my patience,

mme scordo ca so’ muorto e so mazzate!..

I forget that I’m dead and beat up …

 

 

Ma chi te cride d’essere…nu ddio?

Who do you think you are … a god?

Ccà dinto,’o vvuo capi,ca simmo eguale?…

In here, try to understand, that we’re all equal​​…

…Muorto si’tu e muorto so’ pur’io;

dead are you, and dead I also am ;

ognuno comme a ‘na’ato é tale e quale”.

each one is similar at another”.

 

 

“Lurido porco!…Come ti permetti

“You dirty bastard! … How do you dare 

paragonarti a me ch’ebbi natali

to compare yourself to me that I had

illustri, nobilissimi e perfetti,

natal illustrious nobles and perfect (6)

da fare invidia a Principi Reali?”.

that rivals Royal Princes?”.

 

 

“Tu qua’ Natale…Pasca e Ppifania!!!

“But what Natal…Easter and Epiphany!

T”o vvuo’ mettere ‘ncapo…’int’a cervella

do you want put in your head… in your brain

che staje malato ancora e’ fantasia?…

that you’re sick of fantasy? …

‘A morte ‘o ssaje ched”e?…è una livella.

Do you know what death is? … is a level.

 

 

‘Nu rre,’nu maggistrato,’nu grand’ommo,

A king, a judge, a great man,

trasenno stu canciello ha fatt’o punto

going beyond this gate has realized that

c’ha perzo tutto,’a vita e pure ‘o nomme:

has lost everything, life, and also the name:

tu nu t’hè fatto ancora chistu cunto?

Don’t have you realized this yet?

 

 

Perciò,stamme a ssenti…nun fa”o restivo,

So, listen to me … don’t be reluctant,

suppuorteme vicino-che te ‘mporta?

endure my presence, what do you care?

Sti ppagliacciate ‘e ffanno sulo ‘e vive:

These antics are done by living (being) only;

nuje simmo serie,appartenimmo à morte!”

we are serious … we belong to the death! “

 

 

 

(1) In Italy the “All souls’ day” comes on 2 November.

(2) – The author is reading a grave epitaph.

(3) – Gennaro and Esposito are respectively a name and a surname very, very common in Naples, and once specifically concerning  the low-class.

(4) – For Neapolitans the dead’s cult is very strong and most braves have a grave-light always on (once, candles too), by an annual subscription.

(5) – Maybe, in the past the cemeteries closed at midnight, or it only is the author to choose this hour as it is correlated with the spirits apparition.

(6) The exact term to use here was “origin” but I used “natal” because in Italian the term “origin” is told “natali” which is just similar to the word “Natale” (Christmas in Italian) or can represent its plural, and this because the sweeper  is then ironic on this word playing with it, even adding other celebrations. The meaning of his next sentence could be “But which “natali” are you talking about…”, meaning they have no importance by now.

“At my funeral it will be very nice because there will be speeches, big words, praises; I will be discovered as a great actor, because this is the beautiful country where, to have gratitude then something must die.” – Totò –