Franz Kafka

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

"La tessitrice" (The Weaver Girl) by Giovanni Pascoli. English translation, with original Italian text. "La tessitrice" (The Weaver Girl) from the collection "Canti di Castelvecchio"(1903)

Vincent Van Gogh, Woman Sewing (Etten - Scheveningen, 1881-1882)


The following translation of ""La tessitrice" (The Weaver Girl) by Giovanni Pascoli is from the book "The Poems of Giovanni Pascoli: Translated in English, with Original Italian Text," published by LiteraryJoint Press (2017). Also available as Amazon ebook (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)  and also on Kobo.



The Weaver Girl



I sat on the small bench
as I used to...how many years back?
As she used to, she squeezed up
on the small bench.

And not the sound of a word;
only a smile that was all pity.
The pale hand leaves the spool.

I cry, and say to her: How could I,
my dear sweetness, part from you?
She cries, and says to me with a silent nod:
How could you?

Then, the chamber with a sigh
draws back the silent comb.
The silent spool again and again passes by.

I cry, and ask her: then, why does the
keen comb make no more sound?
Shyly and good-heartedly she stares at me;
Why no more sound, you ask me?


And cries, cries she - Sweet love sweet,
did no one tell you? don't you know?
I'm not alive but in your heart and soul.

Dead! Yes, dead! If I still weave, it is
for you alone; how, I have no clue:
in this cloth, under the cypress,
I’ll finally sleep next to you.






La Tessitrice



Mi son seduto su la panchetta
come una volta... quanti anni fa?
Ella, come una volta, s’è stretta
su la panchetta.

E non il suono d’una parola;
solo un sorriso tutto pietà.
La bianca mano lascia la spola.

Piango, e le dico: Come ho potuto,
dolce mio bene, partir da te?
Piange, e mi dice d’un cenno muto:
Come hai potuto?

Con un sospiro quindi la cassa
tira del muto pettine a sè.
Muta la spola passa e ripassa.

Piango, e le chiedo: Perchè non suona
dunque l’arguto pettine più?
Ella mi fissa timida e buona:
Perchè non suona?


E piange, e piange - Mio dolce amore,
non t’hanno detto? non lo sai tu?
Io non son viva che nel tuo cuore.

Morta! Sì, morta! Se tesso, tesso
per te soltanto; come non so:
in questa tela, sotto il cipresso,
accanto alfine ti dormirò.


From the collection “Canti di Castelvecchio”

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