#20

May 2007

Gabriele D’Annunzio

Intra du’ Arni
e
La Pioggia nel Pineto
translation & notes by/
vertaling & noten door
Exsilio-

index

foreword 3
voorwoord 9
Intra du’ Arni 10
Between the two Arnos 10
Tussen de twee Arnos 10
notes 12
La Pioggia nel Pineto 14
The Rain in Pineto 14
De Regen in Pineto 14
notes 18

 

 






foreword

Unbeknowst to you would ire turn o’er, a nuncio would
I return here.
                                        
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

        That being said, to many a scholar – & first of all to Joyce himself – the influence of D’Annunzio’s prose on Joyce was eminent. To unbelieving writers he was quoted as having said something like : ‘D’Annunzio is one of the three greatest writers of our time’. The source I have forgotten – eventually someone like a clear Nabokov or a distinct Burges was asked his opinion on this judgement. & of course he was astonished. But Richard Ellmann definitely underlines Joyce’s slightly disguised debt to D’Annunzio in note 6 on page 304 of the Selected Letters (London 1992). & Stanislaus Joyce wrote in the chapter ‘ripening’ of My Brother’s Keeper : « They [id est James & the Jesuit Charles Ghezzi, Joyce’s professor of Italian at University College, Dublin] had read and critized in lively disputes D’Annunzio’s Il Fuoco, which my brother considered the highest achievement of the novel of date. » (cf. op.cit. edited and with an introduction by Richard Ellmann/ with a preface by T.S. Eliot, London 1982, p.154).

I happened to uncover the (apocryphical ?) Joyce’ s quote. It was not in Arthur Power’s conversations, but retold without any reference by Richard Stern to Jorge Luis Burges (cf. www.kirfasto.s) : « Stern : Joyce said that the three great talents of the nineteenth century were Tolstoy, Kipling and - can you guess?
        Borges : No.
        Stern : D'Annunzio.
        Borges : That's a comedown.
        Stern : I haven't read enough to say.
        Borges : I've read very little D'Annunzio, and the very fact that I've read very little of him is my judgment of him. Tolstoy,

3
Kipling and D'Annunzio. I wonder how you can admire all three. He had a very catholic mind.

Jorge Luis Borges & Richard Stern in :
Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations,
edited by Richard Burgin, Mississippi 1998 »

        Few people are allowed to afford such an absolute knowledge of literature. Of course, Burges is provocating – his knowledge is limited like the one of anyone else. The trick is that he says : ‘the very fact that I've read very little of him is my judgment of him’. Yes, but what one reads is hardly ever a proof of its literary merits. & what one does not read is for the time being – being unknown – surely meaningless, but not necessarily futile. Anyhow, I do not feel offended & would never even think of trying to defend D’Annunzio’s merits.
        Concerning Joyce’s estimation : I guess he was – as a young man in Ireland – in some way fascinated by what was happening on the continent & especially what had recently happened in literary activities in Italy or France. He did not choose Rome or Triest haphazardly.

        Well, it goes a bit too far to describe the flaming effects of this novel in those there days. Things have changed.
        All I would like to do below is to present two poems by D’Annunzio – ‘Intra du’ Arni’ & ‘La Pioggia nel Pineto’ – followed by two translations & some notes. Of course, there is not any pretence to cover the enormous catalogue of D’Annunzio’s works by this modest selection. The basic idea is to evoke by means of some lines or traces a fragment of his aesthetical universe. No more, no less.
        Just alike the curator Pierre Jansen I could never present any solid reasons. I mean, it is like Proust : when he comes to speak – & with reason – of Jan Vermeer’s ‘View of Delft’ (1660-1661) & the sudden attack of uraemia – a kidney failure – that hit Professor Bergotte definitely, there is not any explanation of the painting. Just by speaking of a yellow panid est a section of a wall – Proust makes appear Vermeer & this without any need of a full description.


4
Cf. A la recherche du temps perdu, III, édition publiée sous la direction de Jean-Yves Tadié, Paris 1988, p.692) : « Il mourut dans les circonstances suivantes : une crise d’urémie assez légère était cause qu’on lui avait prescrit le repos. Mais un critique ayant écrit que dans la Vue de Delft de Ver Meer (prêté par le musée de La Haye pour une exposition hollandaise), tableau qu’il adorait et croyait connaître très bien, un petit pan de mur jaune (qu’il ne se rappelait pas) était si bien peint qu’il était, si on leregardait seul, comme une précieuse œuvre d’art chinoise, d’une beauté qui se suffirait à elle-même, Bergotte mangea quelques pommes de terre, sortit et entra à l’exposition. […] Enfin il fut devant le Ver Meer qu’il se rappelait plus éclatant, plus différent de tout ce qu’il connaissait, mais où, grâce à l’article du critique, il remarqua pour la première fois des petits personnages den bleu, que le sable était rose, et enfin la précieuse matière du tout petit pan de mur jaune. Ses étourdissements augmentaient ; il attachait son regard, comme un enfant à un papillon jaune qu’il veut saisir, au précieux petit pan de mur. « C’est ainsi que j’aurais dû écrire, disait-il. Mes derniers livres sont trop secs, il aurait fallu passer plusieurs couches de couleur, rendre ma phrase en elle-même précieuse, comme ce petit pan de mur jaune. » Cependant la gravité de ses étourdissements ne lui échappait pas. Dans une céleste balance lui apparaissait, chargeant l’un des plateaux, sa propre vie, tandis que l’autre contenait le petit pan de mur si bien peint en jaune. Il sentait qu’il avait imprudemment donné la première pour le second. « Je ne voudrais pourtant pas, se dit-il, être pour les journaux du soir le fait divers de cette exposition. » Il se répétait : « Petit pan de mur jaune avec un auvent, petit pan de mur jaune. » ».
        Because of Proust’s mentioning of an auventid est a canopy – whereas there is only a bascule bridge just under some yellow walls & roofs on the extreme right side of the painting Tadié concludes that Proust was mistaken (cf. op.cit. p.1740, n.3), but maybe Proust was thinking of the yellow roof with the skylight on the left of the two-tower building ?
        I wonder how Charles Scott Moncrieff (1889-1930) translated this passage, because he finished six of the eight volumes of Remembrance of Things Past & they are still in print.

5


the pondered detail of Vermeer’s ‘View of Delft’

* * *

        D’Annunzio was a notorious womanizer (cf. dall’ oblio-, #26 concerning Eleonora Duse) & Proust was quite aware of this quality. Although D’Annunzio nowhere occurs in Proust’s critical writings – in his correspondance he is mentioned twenty times – there is a very comical fragment in Sodome et Gomorrhe, II.1, where D’Annunzio’s admiration for the duchess of Guermantes & the reaction of her husband are described (Cf. A la recherche du temps perdu, III, op.cit. p.66) : « […] je n’avais encore fait que quelques pas dans les salons avec la duchesse de Guermantes quand une petite dame brune, extrêmement jolie, l’arrêta :
        « Je voudrais bien vous voir. D’Annunzio vous a aperçue d’une loge, il a écrit à la princesse de T*** une lettre où il dit qu’il n’a jamais rien vu de si beau. Il donnerait toute sa vie pour dix minutes d’entretien avec vous. […] » […]

6
        Le duc de Guermantes n’était pas enchanté de ces offres. Incertain si Ibsen ou d’Annunzio étaient morts ou vivants, il voyait déjà des écrivains, des dramaturges allant faire viite à sa femme et la mettant dans leurs ouvrages. »

       But of course, Proust goes far beyond such a detail. & so does Vermeer.

* * *



Gabriele D’Annunzio alla Capponcina, id est the antique villa of the Capponi on the hill Settignano, northeast of Florence

        In spite of his glorious reputation as a prominent author during his lifetime, Gabriele D’Annunzio’s popularity seems to have decreased eversince. Whereas in Italy his Versi d’amore e di gloria were in 2001 in the ‘I Meridiani’ of Mondadori at their 5th impression – their 1st impression dates from 1982 –, it is not evident to find English or French translations of these works. For his prose this seems to be a little easier.

7
        Historically D’Annunzio’s achievements remain incontest- able. Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938), was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, dramatist, womanizer & daredevil who went on to have a controversial role in politics as figurehead to the Italian Fascist movement & mentor to Mussolini. However, his eccentricity & controversy do not concern our purpose.
        One can find a short, instructive summary of his most colourful life on the site ‘Wikipedia’ & elsewhere, so there is no need to paraphrase this over here.
        ‘Intra du’ Arni’ & ‘La Pioggia nel Pineto’ date from 1903 & were published in Alcyone, id est the third book of D’Annunzio’s Laudi del Cielo – del Mare – della Terra e degli Eroi. The Italian text of the two poems is taken from the ‘edizione diretta da Luciano Anceschi, a cura di Annamaria Andreoli e Niva Lorenzini’, volume II, Milano 1995, pp.463-468.

Exsilio-, Paris, September 2006

 

 

 

 


8

voorwoord

        Bovenstaand foreword is uiteraard tevens voor de Nederlandse lezer geschreven. Een vertaling lijkt mij overbodig. Zo ook voor onderstaande noten.
        Ongetwijfeld zijn waarschijnlik voornaamlik gedeelten van D’Annunzio’s proza in het Nederlands vertaald. In de verschillende compilaties van Italiaanse poëzie zal zeker ook een aantal van zijn verzen opgenomen zijn. Desniettemin heb ik daar tot op heden nog nooit kennis van genomen. Daarmee wil geen oorspronklikheid van onderstaande vertalingen worden opgeëist.
        De enige pretentie van dit nummer van dall’ oblio-/ waters of oblivion is een tweetal weinig bekende gedichten van D’Annunzio te presenteren. De vertalingen zijn uitsluitend bedoeld de lezing van het origineel te vergemakkelijken.

Exsilio-, Paris, September 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


9
Intra du’ Arni

        Ecco l’isola di Progne
        ove sorridi
        ai gridi
        della ronine trace
        che per le molli crete
        ripete
        le antiche rampogne
        al re fallace,
        e senza pace,
        appena aggiorna,
        va e torna
        vigile all’opra
        nidace,
        né si posa né si tace
        se non si copra
        d’ombra la riviera
        e sera
        circa l’isola leggiera
        di canne e di crete,
        che all’aulete
        dà flauti,
        alla migrante nidi
        e, se sorridi, lauti
        giacigli all’amor folle.
        Ecco l’isola molle.
        Ecco l’isola molle
        intra du’ Arni,
        cuna di carmi,
        ove cantano l’Estate
        le canne virenti
        ai vènti
        in varii modi,
        non odi ?,
        quasi di nodi
        prive e di midolle,
        quasi inspirate
        da volubili bocche
        e tocche
Between the two Arnos

        This is Procne’s island
        where you smile
        at the twittering
        of the thracian swallow
        that by weak clay
        repeats
        the ancient blames
        to the deceitful king,
        & without rest,
        hardly defers
        goes & returns
        busy around
        the nest,
        neither resting nor being still
        until darkness covers river
        & evening
        around the ligh island
        of reed & clay,
        that offers the flautist
        flutes,
        to the nest migrant
        &, if you smile, generous
        straw fo passionate love.
        This is the weak island.
        This is the weak island
        between the two Arnos,
        cradle of verses,
        where Summer sings
        in the green reed
        in the winds
        in varying ways,
        don’t you hear ?,
        almost no knots
        & no medulla
        almost inspired
        by talkative mouths
        & skilled finger
        touch,
Tussen de twee Arnos

        Dit is het eiland van Procne
        waar jij glimlacht
        om het gekweel
        van de thracisiche zwaluw
        die door weke klei
        de antieke verwijten
        tot de bedrieglike koning
        herhaalt,
        & zonder rust,
        nauwliks verdaagt
        gaat & keert terug
        bezig om
        het nest,
        rustend noch zwijgend
        tot dat duisternis rivier
        & avond bedekt
        over het lichte eiland
        van riet & leem,
        dat de fluitist
        fluiten schenkt,
        aan de nest-migrant
        &, als jij glimlacht, weelderig
        stro voor uitzinnig liefde
        Dit is het weke eiland
        Dit is het weke eiland
        tussen de twee Arnos,
        wieg van verzen,
        waar Zomer zingt
        in het groene riet
        in de wind
        op gevarieerde wijs,
        hoor jij het niet ?,
        bijna geen knopen
        & geen merg
        bijna bezield
        door spraakzame monden
        & kundige vinger
        voeling,

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        da dita sapienti,
        quasi con arte elette
        e giunte insieme a schiera,
        su l’esempio divino,
        con lino
        attorto e con cera
        sapida di miele,
        a sette a sette,
        quasi perfette
        sampogne.
        Ecco l’isola di Progne.
        almost artfully chosen
        & linked together
        in a row,
        after a divine model,
        with flax
        fastened with wax
        tasting of honey,
        seven by seven,
        almost perfect
        bagpipes.
        This is Procne’s island.
        bijna kunstig gekozen
        & tesamen gebonden
        in een rij,
        naar godlik model,
        met vlas
        gebonden & met was
        smakend naar honing,
        zeven aan zeven,
        bijna volmaakte
        doedelzakken.
        Dit is het eiland van Procne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


11

notes

The theme of this poem originated in the Marina di Pisa in July 1899. On pp.1207-1209 the editors Annamaria Andreoli & Niva Lorenzini quote from the Altri taccuini (The complete works of Gabriele D’Annunzio), X, Milano 1976, pp.105 & 112 : « Nel luogo detto Intra du’ Arni appare un’isola coperta di lunghe erbe fluviali che ondeggiano e si piegano sulla corrente […] L’isoletta detta Intra du’ Arni ha la forma di una nave disalberata. E coperta di cannucce che bruiscono. Il battello s’accosta dolcemente e la tocca ».
        Cf. ‘La Tenzone’ , ll. 3-11 (op.cit. p.458) :

        Le lodolette cantan su le pratora
        di San Rossore
        e le cigale cantano su i platani
        d’Arno a tenzone.

        Come l’Estate porta l’oro in bocca,
        l’Arno porta il silenzio alla sua foce.
        Tutto il mattino per la dolce landa
        quinci è un cantare e quindi altro cantare ;
        tace l’acqua tra l’una e l’altra voce.

& ‘Bocca d’Arno’, passim & in particular ll.33-48 (cf. idem, p.461) :

        Forse l’anima mia, quando profonda
        sé nel suo canto e vede la sua gloria ;
        forse l’anima tua, quando profonda
        sé nell’amore e perde la memoria
        degli inganni fugaci in che s’illuse
        ed anela con me l’alta vittoria.
        Forse conosceremo noi la pena
        felicità dell’onda
        libera e delle forti ali dischiuse
        e dell’inno selvaggio che si sfrena.
        Adora e attendi !
           Adora, adora, e attendi !
           Vedi ? I tuoi piedi
           nudi lascian vestigi
           di luce, ed a’ tuoi occhi prodigi
           sorgon dall’acque. Vedi ?

12
        However, referring to the poems ‘Gorgo’ & ‘A Gorgo’, the same editors state that the idea of the ‘ode fiumale’ or the ‘snella ode’ dates from July or August 1902.
        ‘Gorgo’, ll.8-14 & ‘A Gorgo’, ll.7-8 (cf. op.cit. p.542) :

        E una corona d’ellera e di gàttice
        ti reco, per un’ode che mi piacque
        di te, che canta l’isola di Progne.

        Io voglio, nuda nell’odor del màstice,
        danzar per te sul limite dell’acque
        l’ode fiumale al suon delle sampogne.
[…]
        Polita come il ciòttolo del fiume
        sei, snella come l’ode che ti piacque.

Re line 1 : Progne : the story is told by Ovid in the Metamorphoseon, VI.412-674. This & other contexts are given in my Waste Land revisited – a finished work, but its publication is just in progress (cf. Polumnia).
Re line 45 : ‘su l’esempio divino’ : this concerns Pan. ‘Bocca di Serchio’, ll.205-211 – Ardi to Glauco (cf. op.cit. p.529) :

        Tutto è divina musica e strumento
        docile all’infinito soffio. Guarda
        per la sabbia le rotte canne, guarda
        le radici divelte, ancor frementi
        di labbra curve e di leggiere dita !
        I musici fuggevoli con elle
        modulavano il carme fluviale.

Re line 50 : in vain I have been looking for this island at the mouth of the single Arno.

* * *


13
La Pioggia nel Pineto

        Taci. Su le soglie
        del bosco non odo
        parole che dici
        umane ; ma odo
        parole più nuove
        che parlano gocciole e foglie
        lontane.
        Ascolta. Piove
        dalle nuvole sparse.
        Piove su le tamerici
        salmastre ed arse,
        piove su i pini
        scagliosi ed irti,
        piove su i mirti
        divini,
        su le ginestre fulgenti
        di fiori accolti,
        su i ginepri folti
        di coccole aulenti,
        piove su i nostri vólti
        silvani,
        piove su le nostre mani
        ignude,
        su i nostri vetimenti
        leggieri,
        su i freschi pensieri
        che l’anima schiude
        novella,
        su la favola bella
        che ieri
        t’illuse, che oggi m’illude,
        o Ermione.
The Rain in Pineto

        Be silent. On the border
        of the wood I don’t hear
        the human words you say ;
        but I hear
        newer words
        that speak drops & leaves
        from far.
        On duty. Rain
        falling from the clouds
        Rain on the tamarisks
        briny & singeing,
        rain on the pines
        scaly & bristly,
        rain on the divine
        myrtles,
        on the glittering broom
        of a bouquet,
        on the thick juniper
        on the scenting berries,
        rain on our sylvan
        faces,
        rain on our bare
        hands,
        on our light
        clothes,
        on the fresh thoughts
        that the new soul
        encloses,
        on the nice fable
        that deceived you
        yesterday ; that is deceiving me today,
        o Hermione.
De Regen in Pineto

        Weest stil. Aan de rand
        Van het woud hoor ik
        de menslike woorden niet
        die je spreekt ; maar ik hoor
        nieuwe woorden
        die spreken druppels & bladeren
        van verre.
        Op wacht. Regen
        valt uit de wolken.
        Regen op de tamarisken
        brak & verschroeid,
        regen op de pijnbomen
        schilferig & struikachtig,
        regen op de godlike
        mirten,
        op het schitterende brem
        van een boeket,
        op de dichte geneverstruiken
        op de geurende bessen,
        regen op ons landlik gelaat,
        regen op onze blote
        handen,
        op onze lichte
        kleding,
        op de frisse gedachten
        die de nieuwe ziel
        insluit,
        op de fraaie fabel
        die je gister
        bedroog ; die mij vandaag bedriegt,
        o Hermione.

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        Odi ? La pioggia cade
        su la solitaria
        verdura
        con un crepitìo che dura
        e varia nell’ aria
        secondo le fronde
        più rade, men rade.
        Ascolta. Risponde
        al pianto il canto
        delle cicale
        che il pianto australe
        non impaura,
        né il ciel cinerino.
        E il pino
        ha un suono, e il mirto
        altro suono, e il ginepro
        altro ancóra, stromenti
        diversi
        sotto innumerevoli dita.
        E immersi
        noi siam nello spirto
        silvestre,
        d’arborea vita viventi ;
        e il tuo vólto ebro
        è molle di pioggia
        come una foglia,
        e le tue chiome
        auliscono come
        le chiare ginestre,
        o creatura terrestre
        che hai nome
        Ermione.
        Do you hear ? The rain is falling
        on the solitary
        greenery
        with a rattle that lasts
        & varies in the air
        after the foliage
        more or less sparse.
        Listen. The dirge
        of the cicadas
        is answering the rain
        the southern rain
        doesn’t frighten them,
        the gray sky neither does
        & the pinetree
        has a sound & the myrtle
        another sound, & the juniper
        yet another one, different
        instruments
        under countless fingers.
        & we are submerged
        in the sylvan
        spirit,
        live the the treelike life ;
        & your damp face
        is soaked by the rain
        like a leave,
        & your hair
        scents
        clear broom,
        o earthly creature
        that you call
        Hermione.
        Hoor je ? De regen valt
        op het eenzame
        loof.
        met een geruis dat voortduurt
        & in de lucht varieert
        naar het gebladerte
        dun of dicht verspreid.
        Luister. Het treurlied
        van de cicaden
        beantwoordt de regen
        de zuidlike regen
        maakt hen niet bang,
        de grijze hemel evenmin
        & de pijnboom
        heeft een toon, & de mirte
        een andere toon, & de geneverbes
        weer een andere, verschillende
        instrumenten
        onder talloze vingers.
        & wij zijn gedompeld
        in de landlike
        geest,
        leven het boomachtige leven ;
        & je benevelde gelaat
        is doorweekt van regen
        als een blad,
        & je haar
        geurt als
        heldere brem,
        o aards schepsel
        dat je noemt
        Hermione.

15
        Ascolta, ascolta. L’accordo
        delle aeree cicale
        a poco a poco
        più sordo
        si fa sotto il pianto
        che cresce ;
        ma un canto vi si mesce
        più roco
        che di laggiù sale,
        dall’ umida ombra remota.
        Più sordo e più fioco
        s’allenta, si spegne.
        Sola una nota
        ancor trema, si spegne,
        risorge, trema, si spegne.
        Non s’ode voce del mare.
        Or s’ode su tutta la fronda
        crosciare
        l’argentea pioggia
        che monda,
        il croscio che varia
        secondo la fronda
        più folta, men folta.
        Ascolta.
        La figlia dell’ aria
        è muta ; ma la figlia
        del limo lontana,
        la rana,
        canta nell’ ombra più fonda,
        chi sa dove, chi sa dove !
        E piove su le tue ciglia,
        Ermione.
        Listen, listen. The harmony
        of the ethereal cicadas
        little by little
        deafer
        in the increasing
        rain ;
        but a song mingles with this
        hoarser
        that over there
        from a humid shadow arises.
        Deafer & hoarser
        it fades, it extinguishes.
        Only one tone
        still trembles, extinguishes,
        revives, trembles, extinguishes.
        One hears no voice from the sea.
        Now you hear all the greenery
        rattle
        the silver rain
        that purifies,
        the rattling varies
        after the foliage
        more or less sparse.
        Listen.
        The girl from the air
        is still ; but the girl
        of the far silt,
        the treefrog,
        is singing in the deepest darkness,
        who knows where, who knows where !
        & it is raing on your eyelashes,
        Hermione.
        Luister, luister. De harmonie
        van de hemelse cicaden
        beetje bij beetje
        dover
        in de toenemende
        regen ;
        maar een lied mengt zich hierin
        heser
        dat daarginds
        van een vochtige schaduw opklinkt.
        Dover & heser
        het zwakt af, het dooft uit.
        Een enkele toon
        trilt nog, sterft uit,
        herleeft, trilt, sterft uit.
        Men hoort geen stem van de zee.
        Nu hoort men al het loof
        ruisen
        de zilveren regen
        die zuivert,
        het geruis varieert
        naar het gebladerte
        dun of dicht verspreid.
        Luister.
        Het meisje van de lucht
        is stil ; maar het meisje
        van het verre slijk,
        de boomkikvors,
        zingt in de diepste duisternis,
        wie weet waar, wie weet waar !
        & het regent op je wimpers,
        Hermione.

16
        Piove su le tue ciglia nere
        sì che par tu pianga
        ma di piacere ; non bianca
        ma quasi fatta virente,
        par da scorza tu esca.
        E tutta la vita è in noi fresca
        aulente,
        il cuor nel petto è come pèsca
        intatta,
        tra le pàlpebre gli occhi
        son come polle tra l’erbe,
        i denti negli alvèoli
        son come mandorle acerbe.
        E andiam di fratta in fratta,
        or congiunti or disciolti
        (e il verde vigor rude
        ci allaccia i mallèoli
        c’intrica i ginocchi)
        chi sa dove, chi sa dove !
        E piove su i nostri vólti
        silvani,
        piove su le nostre mani
        ignude,
        su i nostri vestimenti
        leggieri,
        su i freschi pensieri
        che l’anima schiude
        novella,
        su la favola bella
        che ieri
        m’illuse, che oggi t’ illude,
        o Ermione.
        It is raining on your black eyelashes
        as if you are crying
        but of delight ; you are not pale
        but almost verdant,
        of the bark you came from
        & the whole life is fresh scent
        in us,
        the heart in the chest is a s a peach
        intact,
        between the eyelids your eyes
        are like springs in the grass,
        the teeth in the teeth ridges
        are like bitter almonds.
        & we go from bush to bush,
        now together then separated
        (& the greenery vigorously harshly
        ties the ankles,
        shackles the knees)
        who know where, who knows where !
        It is raining on our sylvan
        faces,
        rain on our bare
        hands,
        on our light
        clothes,
        on the fresh thoughts
        that the new soul
        encloses,
        on the nice fable
        that deceived me
        yesterday ; that is deceiving you today,
        o Hermione.
        Het regent op je zwarte wimpers
        alsof je huilt
        maar van behagen ; jij bent niet bleek
        maar bijna groen,
        van de schors vanwaar je kwam
        & het hele leven is frisse geur
        in ons,
        het hart in de borst is als een perzik
        intact,
        tussen de oogleden zijn je ogen
        als bronnen in het gras,
        de tanden in de tandholten
        zijn als bittere amandelen.
        & wij gaan van struik tot struik,
        nu samen dan gescheiden
        (& het groen krachtig ruw
        bindt de enkels,
        kluistert de knieën)
        wie weet waar, wie weet waar !
        Het regent op ons landlik
        gelaat,
        het regent op onze blote
        handen,
        op onze lichte
        kleding,
        op de frisse gedachten
        die de nieuwe ziel
        insluit,
        op de fraaie fabel
        die mij gister
        bedroog ; die jou vandaag bedriegt,
        o Hermione.

17

notes

manuscript of the beginning of ‘La Poggia nel Pineto’


Re line 29 ‘favola bella’ : among other things – the editors refer to D’Annunzio’s novel Il Fuoco (cf. supra & op.cit. p.1209-1210) : « o questo liquescente presagio di Ermione, consegnato a une furtiva didascalia : « Il suo viso s’inonda di sorriso come d’un’acqua trepidante e molle » Cf. La Gloria (1899) in : Tragedie, sogni e misteri, II, Milano 1980, p.376 & lines 56-57 :

        il tuo viso ebro
        è molle di pioggia

Per non del Fuoco, che anticipa la poetica del naturismo alcionio con la sua favola bella: « Tutti i rumori si trasformavano in voci espressive. Ascolta ! […] Ascolta ! Io distinguo un tema melodico che si perde e risorge senza avere la forza di svilupparsi […] » (cf. Romanzi e racconti, II, a cura di Walter Siti e Silvia De Laude, Milano 2001, p.713).

18
        Furthermore one has to think of Shelley, who wrote in the year of his death in The Recollection, lines 9-32 (cf. The Complete Poems,  with notes by Mary Shelley, New York 1994, pp.707-708) :

II

        We wandered to the pine forest
           That skirts the Ocean’s foam,
        The lightest wind was in its nest,
           The tempest in its home.
        The whispering waves were half asleep,
           The clouds were gone to play,
        And on the bosom of the deep
           The smile of Heaven lay ;
        It seemed as if the hour were one
           Sent from beyond the skies,
        Which scattered from above the sun
           A light of Paradise.

III

        We passed amid the pines that stood
           The giants of the waste,
        Tortured by storms to shapes as rude
           As serpents interlaced,
        And soothed by every azure, breath,
           That under Heaven is blown,
        To harmonies and hues beneath,
           As tender as its own ;
        Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,
           Like green waves on the sea,
        As still as in the silent deep
           The ocean woods may be.

19
        & a little further Annamaria Andreoli or Niva Lorenzini refers to Tommaseo & Petrarch (cf. op.cit. p.1211) : « È inoltre innegabile l’oculatissima distribuzione iterativa, a cominciare dagli innumerevoli piove, fino agli insisti ascolata, ascolata, al celebere diminuendo del canto della rana : s’allenta, si spegne […] trema, si spegne, / risorge, trema, si spegne (vv. 76 e sgg.), o all’effetto volutamente facile della cobla capfinida dei vv. 95-97 : E piove su le tue ciglia […] Piove su le tue ciglia nere, inconcepibile senza la lunga pratica del Tommaseo dei Canti popolari, come del resto il bisticcio del ritornello : t’illuse – m’illude, m’illuse – t’illude (vv. 31 e 127). Insistentemente illusoria, dunque, la favola bella, variante, non si saprebbe dire quanto polemica, del più querulo Petrarca : la favola breve di mia vita (esauriente, nella Noferi [L’Alcyone nella stoia della poesia dannunziana, s.d., ma Firenze 1946], l’esegesi delle occorrenze), visto che prima interrompe e poi chiude la « danza » o « fuga » (Contini 342 [Letteratura dell’Italia unita 1861-1968, Firenze 1968]) altrimenti prorogabile all’infinito per autocompiacimento ritmico e tecnica elencatoria. »
        Tommaseo is indeed the collector of the Canti popolari from which Paul Heyse translated the bulk. On his turn no one but Hugo Wolf set 44 of these translations to music (cf. the bizarre but beautiful mixture of recordings by Irmagard Seefried & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau of 1958).
        Unfortunately I could consult neither Noferi, nor Contini, but the reference is interesting. As far as Petrarch is concerned one could think of several of his canzioneexempli gratia – 71.1, 272.1-4 & 284.1-2 (cf. Canzoniere, pp.356, 1097 & 1126):

        Perché la vita è breve
[…]
        La vita fugge, et non s’arresta una hora,
        et la morte vien dietro a gran giornate,
        et le cose presenti et le passate
        mi dànno guerra, et le future anchora ;
[…]
        Si breve è ’l tempo e ’l penser sì veloce
        che mi rendon madonna così morta,

20
Re line 32 : ‘Ermione’ : Menelaus had by Helen a daughter Hermione (cf. Apollodorus, The Library, III.xi.1 [id est in volume II], with an English translation by James George Frazer, London 2002, p.28). Exciting & often contradicting stories about her are recalled by many a classical author – to begin with Homer (cf. Odyssee, IV.12-14). For D’Annunzio Hermione’s precise antecedents seem to be of lesser significance.

Re line 104 : ‘cuore pesca’ : here D’Annunzio surely refers to Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal : ‘Amour de mensonge’, lines 9-12 (cf. Œuvres complètes, I, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois, Paris 1983, p.99) :

        Je me dis : Qu’elle est belle !
[et bizarrement fraîche !
        Le souvenir massif, royale et lourde tour,
        La couronne, et son cœur, meurtri
[comme une pêche,
        Est mûr, comme son corps, pour le savant amour.

        I do not think D’Annunzio knew this fragment of Baudelaire’s epistle to the editor, the count Alphonse de Bernard (cf. Correspondance, II, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois avec la collaboration de Jean Ziegler, Paris 1973, pp.15-16) : « Hélas ! vos critiques tombent justement sur des mots, des intentions, des traits que je considérais comme étant de mes meilleurs. Il me suffira de vous indiquer brièvement mes intentions. (Le mouvement implique généralement le bruit, à ce point que Pythagore attribuait une musique aux sphères en mouvement.Mais le rêve, qui sépare et décompose, crée la nouveauté. – Le mot royale facilitera pour l’intelligence de cette métaphore qui fait du  souvenir une couronne de tours, comme celles qui inclinent le front des déesses de maturité, de fécondité, et de sagesse. L’amour (sens et esprit) est niais à vingt ans, il est savant à quarante.) Tout cela, je vous l’affirme, a été très lentement combiné.
        En revanche, vous verrez que j’ai corrigé plusieurs imperfections déplorables qui me tourmentaient beaucoup. ».

21
        The link with Virgil & Du Bellay is for another day. No not really. Indeed, Baudelaire could have thought of Virgil’s VIth book of his Aeneid, lines 781-787 (cf. Eneide, traduzione di Rosa Calzecchi Onesti, testo latino a fronte, Milano 1981, p.292):

        En, huius, nate, auspiciis illa incluta Roma
        Imperium terris, animos aequabit Olympo,
        Septemque una sibi muro circumdabit arces,
        Felix prole virum : qualis Berencyntia mater
        Invehitur curru Phrygias turrita per urbes,
        Laeta deum partu, centum complexa nepotes,
        Omnis caelicolas, omnis supera alta tenentis.

        In Dryden’s translation things have changed – as usual, but beautifully : lines 1061-1072 (cf. Virgil’s Aeneid, edited by Frederick M. Keener, London 1997, p.176) :

        His Sire already signs him for the Skies,
        And marks the Seat amidst the Deities.
        Auspicious Chief ! thy Race in times to come
        Shall spread the Conquests of Imperial Rome.
        Rome whose ascending Tow’rs shall Heav’n invade ;
        Involving Earth and Ocean in her Shade.
        High as the Mother of the Gods in place ;
        And proud, like her, of an Immortal Race.
        Then when in Pomp she makes the Phrygian round ;
        With Golden Turrets on her Temples crown’d :
        A hundred Gods her sweeping Train supply ;
        Her Offspring all, and all command the Sky.

        The seven hills are : the Aventinus, the Capitolinus, the Caelius, the Esquilinus, the Palatinus, the Quirinalis & the Vimenalis. Cf. Georgicon, II.535, texte établi et traduit pas E. de Saint-Denis, Paris 1966, p.37.
        Cybele, the mother of the gods, was especially worshipped on the mountain Berecynte in Phrygia.

22
        & then there is Joachim du Bellay. Du Bellay (1522-1560) spent some time in Rome & this inpired him to conceive Les Antiquitez de Rome. Baudelaire might have thought about the VIIth sonnet (cf. Poètes du XVIº siècle, édition établie et annotée par Albert-Marie Schmidt, Paris 1979, pp.420-421) :

        Telle que dans son char la Berecynthienne
        Couronnée de tours, et joyeuse d’avoir
        Enfanté tant de Dieux, telle se faisoit voir
        En ses jours plus heureux ceste ville ancienne :

        Ceste ville, qui fut plus que la Phrygienne
        Foisonnante en enfas, et de qui le pouvoir
        Fut le pouvoir du monde, et ne se peult revoir
        Pareille à sa grandeur, grandeur sinon la sienne.

        Rome seule pouvoit à Rome ressembler,
        Rome seule pouvoit Rome faire trenbler :
        Aussi n’avoit permis l’ordonnance fatale,

        Qu’autre pouvoir humain, tant fust audacieux,
        Se vantast d’égaler celle qui fit égale
        Sa puissance à la terre, et son courage aux cieux.

        This is a nice end.

 

 

 

 

 

 


23