Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Poems about Translation 28: Nicola Gardini, Tradurre è un bacio

For the feast of St. Valentine this year I thought I would share a real treat: Nicola Gardini's beautiful poetry collection Tradurre è un bacio [Translation is a kiss]. Here is a sample:

A (very) rough translation would be:


Translation is a kiss.
It is to have not one, but two tongues
In the mouth

At the same time,
Like Ruggero and Alcina.
[It is] to compose saliva.

For this reason lots of people
Are bad at it and even
Montale doesn't find it easy.

(Ruggiero and Alcina are two characters from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso).

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