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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCXLIII): Cecco ANGIOLIERI, (1260 – ca. 1312), Italian-Tuscan Poet, “S’i’ fosse foco….”, “If I were Fire…”, “De-aşi fi un Foc de pară…”

December 27th, 2013 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations, Uncategorized

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCXLIII): Cecco ANGIOLIERI, (1260 – ca. 1312), Italian-Tuscan Poet, “S’i’ fosse foco….”, “If I were Fire…”, “De-aşi fi un Foc de pară…”

Cecco Angiolieri m:s

S’i’ fosse foco….
Cecco Angiolieri
(1260 – 1312)

S’i’ fosse foco, ardare’ ål mondo;
s’i’ fosse vento, lo tempestarei;
s’i’ fosse acqua, I’ l’annegarei;
s’i’ fosse Dio, mandereil’ en profondo;

s’i’ fosse papa, sare’ allor giocondo,
ché tutti cristiani embrigarei;
s’i’ fosse åmperator, sa’ che farei?
a tutti mozzarei lo capo a tondo.

S’i’ fosse morte, andarei a me’ padre;
s’i’ fosse vita, fuggirei da lui;
similemente faria da mi’ madre.

S’i’ fosse Cecco, com’ I’ sono e fui,
torrei le donne givani e leggiadre;
le zoppe e laide lasserei altrui.

Angiolieri Sonnet

If I were Fire…
Cecco Angiolieri

If I were Flame, the World would burn to ashes;
if I were Storm, I might as well destroy it;
if I were Hurricane, I certainly would drown it;
if I were God, I’d hurl it straight to Hell;
If I were Pope, I’d be too glad to hurry
And wipe out all Christians in the world;
If I were King, what else will I be doing?
I’d, rather, will behead the lot of them!
If I were Death, I’d look for my old Father;
If I were Life, most certainly will not,
And ditto for my suffering, old Mother.
True to Myself, as I had always been,
I’d keep in tow the loveliest of girls,
And leave the ugliest of them, to others.

English Verse by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2013, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Guelphs and Ghibellins

De-aşi fi un foc de pară …
Cecco Angiolieri
(1260, Siena, Toscana – d. ca 1312, Siena, Toscana)

De-aşi fi un Foc de pară, aşi face scrum Pământul;
De aşi fi doar o Furtună, l-aşi face praf cu totul;
De aşi fi, măcar, Potop, l-aşi înneca, neghiobul;
De aşi fi un zeu, în furci i-ar şade trupul.

De-aşi fi un Papă-aşi merge-n mare grabă
Prin lume să anihilez Creştinii,
Fiind Împărat, prea plictisit de sfadă,
Îi voi scurta de-un cap pe toţi cretinii.

De ceasul Morţii, l-aşi căta pe tata,
De-aşi fi în Viaţă, aşi fugi departe,
Pe maică-mea, lăsând-o la o parte.

De aşi fi eu-însumi, ca întodeauna,
M-aşi veseli cu fetele frumoase,
Iar slutele – să tragă doar ponoase!

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2013, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Cecco Angiolieri

Cecco Angiolieri

SHORT BIO: Cecco Angiolieri: There are about 110 sonnets attributed to Angiolieri (including some twenty of dubious provenance), which pick up the goliardic tradition and the tradition of poesia giocosa, and which, using colorful and realistic expressions, were impudent and light-heartedly blasphemous. One of Cecco’s more well-known poems is the sonnet S’ì fosse foco, arderei ‘l mondo (If I were fire, I would burn the earth), which is translated above, expresses his misanthropy as well as his passion for living.
Of late, criticism holds that it is not correct to search for autobiographical references in his compositions, given the strangely literary character of his poems. Even in those poems which seem most personal we find a taste for parody and caricature, and stylistic exaggeration, in which emotions and passions are the pretext for linguistic games. In these extreme expressions there is an enjoyment of impressing the reader, and the rejection of the ideals of courtly life and of the dolce stil novo. We are faced with a refined man of letters who knows well how to calculate his effects.
A citizen of Sienna, issued from a prominent family, young Angiolieri was involved in the hsitorica; war between the city’s Guelphs and Ghibelline. Forced into exile, for a brief five years the poet seems to have befriended Dante: as surmised from Sonnet 102 (from 1302-1303), addressed to Dante who was already in Verona, that during this period, Cecco was in Rome. Angiolieri’s last years are not well documented, as he died in debt and his destitute offsprings left Siena.This precarious end on a background of historical upheavals, resulted in a good part of the poet’s work to have been lost.
To date there seem to have been identified some 150 sonnets of Alghieri’s. These are written in the typical tradition of riotous, burlesque lyrics, considered one of the earliest examples of the vernacular verse in Italy. The immediacy of his style makes him, even today, one of the most loved poets among the young people, because he sees life in a manner which is gay and free of any inhibition.

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