Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Canzionere 36 May 12, 2011

How’s your Italian?


S’io credesse per morte essere scarco
del pensiero amoroso che m’atterra,
colle mie mani avrei già posto in terra
queste mie membra noiose, et quello incarco;

ma perch’io temo che sarrebbe un varco
di pianto in pianto, et d’una in altra guerra,
di qua dal passo anchor che mi si serra
mezzo rimango, lasso, et mezzo il varco.

Tempo ben fôra omai d’avere spinto
l’ultimo stral la dispietata corda
ne l’altrui sangue già bagnato et tinto;

et io ne prego Amore, et quella sorda
che mi lassò de’ suoi color’ depinto,
et di chiamarmi a sé non le ricorda

Poor Petrarch.  In this sonnet he is wishing he could free himself from the obsession of his love, but he thinks that death would just put him into another war, from one grief to another.  He begs Love, who has painted him with color, but doesn’t remember to come when he calls her. .. 

Poor desperately obsessed Petrarch.  Of course, even death was not an escape.  He still suffered for another thirty years after Laure died.  It wasn’t until the last decade of his life that his writings suggest he was released and could focus on worship of God and not his muse.

I played with a multi-colour pencil crayon and my calligraphy pens to transcribe this sonnet today.  Here is the result:

Canzionere 36 da Petrarca

I think that when I  take the time to set this up for a good copy, with copy lines and borders, it will be quite effective.  I particularly like my Italian pseudonym Giovanna Uccello.  😉  it’s fun having an easily transliterated name… Jeanne Oiseau.  I mean, Shawn Bird.


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