Italian Language Blog

Il Vento Posted by on Feb 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

Outside there’s a strong wind howling and whirling the snow around. According to the news, this wind comes from Siberia and is called ‘burian’. They say that it will bring even colder temperatures in the next few days.

Inspired by the weather, I searched the Internet for a poem describing the wind, and finally found what I was looking for.  Il Vento (The Wind) is a beautiful poem written by Ada Negri (1870-1945), the first woman to be elected as a member of the Accademia d’Italia. The poem appears to be simple, but the more I read it the more I appreciate it, continuing to discover new gems which had previously been hidden to me.

… una mano che afferra e strappa le foglie dorate. Photo by Geoff

In five short stanzas Ada Negri describes “l’eterno cammino del vento” (the eternal journey of the wind) that blows incessantly yet changes in nature through the course of the seasons. In the spring the wind is ” una mite carezza gentile e tiepida” (a soft gentle, warm caress); in the summer it becomes “un vasto respiro” (a vast breath) that plays with the sea; in the autumn it turns into “una mano che afferra e strappa” (a hand that grasps and tears); in the winter it finally mutates into “un gelido soffio” (a frosty gust) which freezes rivers and springs.

In my opinion, it’s Ada Negri‘s ability to say things in an apparently simple way, without ever becoming banal, that makes her such a great poetess.

Here’s Il Vento (The Wind), with my translation into English:

Il Vento, di Ada Negri The Wind, by Ada Negri
E’ mite carezza
che passa gentile
e tiepida scherza
coi fiori d’aprile.

It’s a soft caress
that passes gentle
and warm, playing
with April’s flowers.

E’ vasto respiro
lanciato sull’onda
che spinge la vela
in corsa gioconda.

It’s a vast breath
launched on the wave
that pushes the sail
in a happy run.

E’ mano che afferra
con dita spiegate
e all’albero strappa
le foglie dorate.

It’s a hand that grasps
with fingers spread
and tears from the tree
the golden leaves.

E’ gelido soffio
che scende dai monti
e in ghiaccio tramuta
i rivi e le fonti.

It’s a frosty gust
that descends from the mountains
and transforms into ice
the streams and the springs.

Così, senza posa,
or rapido or lento
si svolge l’eterno
cammino del vento.

In this way, without a rest,
now fast now slow
the eternal journey
of the wind unfolds.

You can find out more about Ada Negri and her poems by clicking on the following links:


Il Dono


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