“La saggezza del condannato a morte e altre poesie” by Mahmud Darwish

This article is also available in: Italiano

“La saggezza del condannato a morte ed altre poesie” is a unique experiment in the Italian panorama, perfect for discovering Darwish better

La saggezza del condannato a morte e altre poesie

In this collection, born from the attention of the writer accompanied by the vision of the translator, we have tried to draw an Italian face to the poetry of Mahmud Darwish and to “his own language”. The reference horizon were the three “characters” that emerge from his poetic production: the elegant scholar who expresses his virtuous love for the motherland and for the imaginary beloved, the fragmented self and the cantor of the homeland.
The miscellany is made up of twenty-eight poems, nine for each of the three thematic nuclei: of love, of the self and of the homeland, preceded by the poem E noi amiamo la vita, selected with extreme care within Darwish’s entire poetic activity .

Mahmoud Darwish

Texts from every phase of his poetic life have been included, from when he began writing letters on freedom and love from his homeland in Palestine, up to the existential questions posed by his dialogue with exile. The sequence of these themes and the poems within them is an attempt to portray an Italian face based on the lyrical musicality that accompanied Darwish’s soul by investing his language, in an attempt to restore a fragment of his soul.

A unique job in the Italian panorama

“La saggezza del condannato a morte e altre poesie” is one of the most interesting Darwish poetic anthologies on the whole Italian scene, capable of giving a general idea of what was the artistic career of one of the greatest characters of contemporary poetry. Specifically, this book enjoys several particularities that make it truly unique: first of all, it is not a mere translation, but a hybrid between the latter and an interpretation which, while taking into supreme consideration the mere meaning of the words, proves to give it a new form, connected more than ever to the Italian language and imagination; to underline the refinement in maintaining the same musicality of the original text, an essential element for any good transposition.

La saggezza del condannato a morte ed altre poesie

Another peculiarity of the text is that it does not touch a single work, but ranges throughout Darwish’s poetic path, dividing it according to the three different souls of the poet (of love, of the self and of the homeland), so as to give the reader a more comprehensive and complete view of this character, as well as facilitate research by topics and themes. These characteristics make “La saggezza del condannato a morte ed altri poemi” a different and truly unique work about the great Palestinian poet, bringing something new into the Italian language that has rarely been done with such skill and skill. Congratulations to Tareq Aljabr, Emiliano Cribari and Sana Darghmouni for the excellent work and to the emuse publishing house (which kindly gave me the book) for being so courageous and ambitious to embark on a similar project, unfortunately increasingly rare in the Bel Paese .

A little advice: as a reader I would have greatly appreciated knowing from which work the single poem was taken and in which year it was written, so that I could use this book not only as a collection of poems, but also as a point of reference for better understanding the poetic evolution of Darwish and have ideas for new readings.

A poem taken from the work

I personally believe that to better understand a poetic text it is necessary to observe it with your own eyes and that is why I decided to include the poem that most struck me and that has penetrated my heart the most: “Gioioso per qualcosa“. Unfortunately or fortunately, English-speaking readers will have to read the text in Italian because it would be a crime to translate something that is already a hybrid between poetry and interpretation. I advise you to use it as a tool to try to feel the musicality of Italian, if you want to better discover the meaning I suggest you use Google translate, it does an excellent job on Italian and English.

Gioioso per qualcosa

“Gioioso per qualcosa di invisibile,

abbraccio il mattino con la forza del canto;

cammino fiducioso nei miei passi,

cammino fiducioso nella mia immaginazione.

Mi chiama una rivelazione, dice “Vieni!”

come se fosse un gesto magico,

un sogno disceso per addestrarmi nei suoi segreti,

così sarei il padrone della mia stella notturna

sostenuto dalla parola.

Io sono il mio stesso sogno.

Nei miei sogni sono la madre di mia madre,

il padre di mio padre

e sono anche mio figlio.

Gioioso per qualcosa di invisibile,

che mi innalza sopra i suoi strumenti a corda.

Mi raffina e mi affina come un diamante

di una principessa orientale.

Chi non ha cantato adesso, questa mattina,

non canterà.

Dacci, amore, la tua abbondanza

per combattere la guerra, onesta, dei sensibili,

perché il clima è favorevole

e il sole del mattino affina le nostre armi.


Non abbiamo altro obiettivo

che essere sconfitti in queste guerre,

quindi trionfa,

trionfa e ascolta come ti osannano le tue vittime:

trionfa! Benedette siano le tue mani!

E torna illeso da noi perdenti!

Gioio per qualcosa di invisibile,

cammino sognando una poesia blu

di due versi soltanto,

due versi di una gioia leggera,

visibile ed invisibile insieme.

Chi non ama adesso, questa mattina,

non amerà.”

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