|Antonio Veneziano (1543 - 1593)|
|Veneziano was a contemporary of Cervantes (1547 - 1616) with whom he shared a cell after being captured by Barbary pirates and held for ransom. We know that Cervantes and his brother had been captured in 1575. Cervantes reportedly said that Veneziano had earned the keys to Paradise with his poetry collection entitled Celia. In both Italian and Sicilian "Celia" means jest or joke but in Sicilian it can also refer to a woman who has been foiled.|
|This fragment of Veneziano's poetry appeared in an essay on Sicilian Poetry of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by Mariano Fresta in ARBA SICULA, Rivista Di Folklori E Littiratura Siciliani, Vol XVII, Nos 1 & 2, Primavera & Autunnu 1996, p34 ff. The English translation is by the Director-Editor of Arba Sicula, Dr. Gaetano Cipolla.|
Supra li noti fermi di lu cori,|
stabili e fermi a non mutarsi mai,
fannu li mei pinzeri varij mori
contrapuntandu cui pocu e cui assai.
E tu, memoria, alli vuci sonori
cci porti lu cumpassu undi chi vai
ducimenti cantandu sti palori:
Beneditta sia lura chi t'amai! (c.1v)
Upon the firm notes of the heart|
stable and firm so they can't ever change
my thoughts go through many high/lows
counterpointing some more some less.
And you, my memory, accompany
the sounds you hear wherever you may go
sweetly singing this refrain
Blessed be the hour when I first loved you!
Siguendu li toi trami e lu to imbrogghiu, |
per mia la riti comu Aragna tessu,
e per miu spassu e piaciri scumbogghiu
fari cuntenta a tia ccu lu miu ntressu.
E quandu vogghiu non vuliri vogghiu,
e quandu cercu fùiri m'impressu;
sù appuntu comu la candila all'ogghiu:
tu mi consumi et iu ti vegnu appressu. (c.25v)
Following your plots and your entanglements|
I weave my very net as did Aracne,
and for my pleasure and enjoyment I try
to make you happy with my interest.
And when I want, I do not want to want
and when I try to flee, I come still closer;
I am exactly like a candle in oil:
you are consuming me and I still follow you.
Di poi chi persi né speru cchiù aviri |
chidda per cui campava consolatu,
cori, chi senti? - Pena. - Occhiu, chi miri?
- Tenebri. - Auricchia, caudi? - Chiantu e urlatu. -
Vucca, chi gusti? - Landru e poi suspiri. -
Chi provi, cori, chì guai senpri patu?
E comu siti vivi a ssi martiri,
vita, occhiu, intisa, vucca, cori e çiatu? (c.25v)
Since I already lost nor hope to have again|
the one for whom I lived in consolation,
heart, what do you feel? Woe - Eyes, what do you see?
Darkness - Ear, what do you hear? - Crying and screams -
Mouth, what do you taste: - Oleander and then sighs. -
What do you feel, my heart, forever wrapped in woes?
And how can you still through such pains
life, ehy, hearing, mouth, heart and breath? (c. 25v)
Mbātula a darmi morti ti lanbichi |
e d'ogni modu chi poi e sai m'aucidi,
chi tantu cchiù grand'almu mi nutrichi
Quantu cchiù a grandi imprisi mi disfidi.
Si tuttu mi pizzij e mi smuddichi,
crìdimi, beni miu, crìdimi, cridi
chin tanti pezzi, muddichi muddichi
vidirai lu to aspettu a la mia fidi. (c.47v)
Although you try so hard to sever this my life,|
doing your very best to slaughter me,
instead the greater challenge that you pose
manages to instill in me greater resolve.
If you succeed in tearing me apart
believe me, love, believe what I am saying,
that in each little piece of me, you'll find
your lovely mien reflected in my faith. (c.47v)
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