August 3, 2018

Meridiunalata III: A Bilingual Offering of Duosiciliano Poetry

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Inspired by Cav. Charles Sant'Elia's Meridiunalata/Southernade,* an evocative bilingual (Neapolitan/English) collection of poetry written between 1989 and 2010, we offer the reader an accessible introduction to vernacular (Neapolitan, Sicilian, et al.) verse with the aim of awakening enthusiasm for contemporary and historical poesia Duosiciliano.

In this installment we're featuring the Neapolitan poetry of Pino Rispo D.R.

'A bannera
Di Pino Rispo D.R.

Camminane dint''e penziere.
Aggio truvato 'a storia d''ajere..
E cammenano cammenano...
Só passate quatt''anne,
Ogge te cunosco 'e cchiú....
Sento addor''e libbertá
Ma cé ne stá strada ancor''a fá,

Ma oramaje chesta storia c''appartene..
E stamme spezzane chesti catene,
'E frate nuoste só muorte...
P''a causa nosta, p''e 'sta bannera..
Chella c'avimma fa turná,
Ma cé ne stá strada ancor''a fá,

Nuje simm''e Ddoje Sicilie,
Napulitan''e Siciliane simm''e figlie,
E 'nu Stato antico, 'nu Stato amico...
Occupato da 'nu nemico,
Ca sé cchiamate lliberatore....

Ogge sapimme chi eran''e Brigante...
Avimme truvato l'identitá
P''e chesta patria e chesta Cittá...
Napule capitale turnarrá,
Fora savoia, viv''a bannera,
Viv''e Ddoje Sicilie, viv''a libbertá!!

The Flag
By Pino Rispo

Walking in thought.
I found yesterday’s history..
And walking and walking...
Four years went by,
Today I know you more....
I smell the aroma of freedom
But there is still a way to go,

But by now this history belongs to us..
And we’re breaking these chains,
Our brothers died...
For our cause, for this flag..
The one we must bring back,
But there is still a way to go,

We are the Two Sicilies,
Neapolitans and Sicilians we are the children,
Of an ancient State, a friendly State...
Occupied by an enemy,
That called itself liberator....

Today we know who the Briganti were...
We found our identity
For this Fatherland and this City...
Naples shall return as capital,
Out savoy, long live the flag,
Long live the Two Sicilies, long live freedom!!

Translated by Cav. Charles Sant’Elia

* Self-published in 2010, Meridiunalata/Southernade is a treasury of poems gleaned from Cav. Sant'Elia's previous collections (Nchiuso dint''o presente, 'A cuntrora, and 'O pino e l'éllera), which were circulated among friends in New York City and Naples. Special thanks to Cav. Sant'Elia for allowing us to reprint his poetry and translations.