Saturday, April 5, 2014

Non al denaro non all'amore nè al cielo:
   Un malato di cuore - A Heart Patient

"Cominciai a sognare anch'io insieme a loro
poi l'anima d'improvviso prese il volo."

Da ragazzo spiare i ragazzi giocare
al ritmo balordo del tuo cuore malato
e ti viene la voglia di uscire e provare
che cosa ti manca per correre al prato,
e ti tieni la voglia, e rimani a pensare
come diavolo fanno a riprendere fiato.

Da uomo avvertire il tempo sprecato
a farti narrare la vita dagli occhi
e mai poter bere alla coppa d'un fiato
ma a piccoli sorsi interrotti,
e mai poter bere alla coppa d'un fiato
ma a piccoli sorsi interrotti.

Eppure un sorriso io l'ho regalato
e ancora ritorna in ogni sua estate
quando io la guidai o fui forse guidato
a contarle i capelli con le mani sudate.

Non credo che chiesi promesse al suo sguardo,
non mi sembra che scelsi il silenzio o la voce,
quando il cuore stordì e ora no, non ricordo
se fu troppo sgomento o troppo felice,
e il cuore impazzì e ora no, non ricordo,
da quale orizzonte sfumasse la luce.

E fra lo spettacolo dolce dell'erba
fra lunghe carezze finite sul volto,
quelle sue cosce color madreperla
rimasero forse un fiore non colto.

Ma che la baciai questo sì lo ricordo
col cuore ormai sulle labbra,
ma che la baciai, per Dio, sì lo ricordo,
e il mio cuore le restò sulle labbra.

"E l'anima d'improvviso prese il volo
ma non mi sento di sognare con loro
no non si riesce di sognare con loro."

Un malato di cuore © 1971 Fabrizio De André/Giuseppe Bentivoglio/
Nicola Piovani


"Un malato di cuore" is based on "Francis Turner."



“I too began dreaming along with them,
then suddenly my soul took flight.”

You're a boy spying the kids playing,
at the senseless rhythm of your sick heart,
and you get the urge to go out and try -
what do you lack for running in the meadow? -
and you hold the urge, and you stay put to think,
"How the devil do they recover their breath?"

You're a man sensing the time wasted
on making your eyes narrate life to you,
and never being able to drink a cup in one gulp,
but in little interrupted sips;
and never being able to drink a cup in one gulp,
but in little interrupted sips.

And yet a smile I did give,
and it still returns in every one of her summers
when I guided her, or maybe I was guided,
to count her hairs with sweaty hands.

I don’t believe I asked her gaze for promises,
it doesn’t seem to me that I chose silence or voice
when the heart stunned, and now, no, I don’t recall
if it was too dismayed or too happy,
and my heart went crazy, and now, no, I don’t recall
from which horizon the light faded away.

And amidst the sweet entertainment on the grass,
between long caresses concluded on the face,
those mother-of-pearl colored thighs of hers
remained, perhaps an unpicked flower.

But that I kissed her, this, yes, I remember,
with my heart by then on her lips.
But that I kissed her, by God, yes I remember.
and my heart stayed on her lips.

“And the soul suddenly took flight,
but I don’t feel like dreaming with them.
No, one can’t manage to dream with them.”

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Non al denaro non all'amore nè al cielo, released in 1971, is a concept album inspired by poems from The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, published in 1915 and translated into Italian in 1943 by Fernanda Pivano. Each poem tells the story, as an epitaph, of one of the denizens of the fictional small town Spoon River. De André read and liked the book when he was 18, and when he re-read it years later was again struck by the relevance of the stories and the lives therein. He wanted to show, with the nine poems he chose, some aspects of life related to envy, love and the failure of science. The album was an immediate success upon its release.
Francis Turner – Edgar Lee Masters

I could not run or play
In boyhood.
In manhood I could only sip the cup,
Not drink --
For scarlet-fever left my heart diseased.
Yet I lie here
Soothed by a secret none but Mary knows:
There is a garden of acacia,
Catalpa trees, and arbors sweet with vines --
There on that afternoon in June
By Mary's side --
Kissing her with my soul upon my lips
It suddenly took flight.

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