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Poetry in Translation (LXXIX): Anna Vivanti Chartres (1868-1942) – “Ego”

November 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment · Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations

Anna Vivanti Chartres (1866, London - 1942, Turin)

Anna Vivanti Chartres – Poetry in Translation (LXXIX)

Anna Vivanti Chartres (1868-1942) was born in London, the daughter of Anselmo Vivanti an Italian political exile and follower of Mazzini who fled  Mantua after the 1861 riots. Her mother, was the German writer Anna Landau sister of Rudolph and Paul both uncles having followed a successful literary career. Having been brought up as a multi-lingual child with a cosmopolitan life in England, Italy, Switzerland and the USA, Anna Vivanti married in London  Jack Smith Chartres (1862-1927). Her husband was an Anglo-Irish barrister and British Civil Servant, who negotiated on behalf of Sinn Fein, together with Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, the Anglo-Irish Treaty leading to the Independence of the Republic of Ireland.

Anna Vivanti Chartres was a close friend of Giosuè Carducci and her poetry is regarded as being part of the  stream of late Italian romantic poetry. She is buried in Turin where her grave is inscribed with a verse dedicated by Carducci:

Barro a la chiusa imposta con un ramicello di fiori

Glauchi et azzurri comme i tuoi occhi, a Annie.

* * *

Ego

II Mondo ha spalancato i suoi mille occhi,

E « Chi sei tu? „ mi grida: e ” cosa fai?

Dimmi la fede tua, l’età, la patria,

Che cerchi, donde vieni e dove vai ! „

Del mio paese chiedi? Io ti rispondo:

Non ho paese: è mia tutta la terra!

La patria mia qual’è? Mamma è tedesca,

Babbo italiano, io nacqui in Inghilterra.

E quale la mia fede? Io vado a messa;

La musica mi edifica e ricrea;

Ma sono battezzata protestante,

Di nome e di profilo sono ebrea.

Chiedi dell’età mia? quasi ho vent’anni.

E quale la mia meta? Ancor l’ignoro.

Che cerco? Nulla. Attendo il mio destino,

E rido e canto e piango e m’innamoro.

*  *  *

Ego

Orasul se trezeste facandu-si ochi, o mie,

Soptindu-mi in ureche: cine esti tu, Straine?

La ce Domn te inchini? Unde te-ndreptil?

Spre care mari si tari te-ndeamn-acuma Crezul?

Ma-ntrebi  de unde sunt? Sunt de aiurea!

Si de nici-unde… Planeta mi-este  tara!

Ce Patrie ma stie?    Germania materna,

Italia paterna, si Anglia de-o seama.

Si mai ma-ntrebi de crezu-mi? Sunt crestina,

Iar muzica ma-nvata si m-alina,

Dupa botez sunt anglicana,

Din mosii mei, de fel, sunt si evree.

Ma-ntrebi ce varsta am? Doua decenii.

Spre care tarm m-andrept? Nu stiu prea bine.

Ce caut? Mai nimic, decat destinul,

Doar rad si cant cand ma cuprinde dorul.

(Rendered in Romanian*) by Constantin ROMAN October 2010)

All rights reserved, Copyright Constantin ROMAN

*) cu multumiri pentru sugestii Doamnei Isabela Vasiliu-Scriba,

Bucuresti, Noiembire 2010


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