Virgilio Giotti, Triestine Venetian Poet

Repost from the old site. Let’s take a look again at Triestine Venetian. Virgilio Giotti was a famous poet who wrote in Triestine Venetian. He was born in 1885 in Trieste, a child of Riccardo Schonbeck and Emilia Ghiotto. He died in Trieste in 1957. He is considered to be the most important Triestine Venetian author. For this, he was honored in 1957 by the Accademia dei Lincei. Highly-regarded critics such Mario Fubini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gianfranco Contini, Cesare Segre and Franco Brevini enthusiastically described Virgilio Giotti as one of the most important Italian writers in Italian “dialects” of the 1900’s. From 1907 to 1919 he lived in Firenze. In 1912, he met Nina Schekotoff, a Russian from Moscow, the only woman he ever loved. In Tuscany, she bore him three children – Natalia, (Tanda), Paolo and Franco. Sons Paolo and Franco both died in Russia during World War 2. Giotti first book was Piccolo Canzoniere in Dialetto Triestino, published in Florence in 1914. He became famous in 1937, when the great critic Pietro Pancrazi, in a review in Corriere Della Sera pointed out the anti-dialectal character of Giotti: his poetry was described as écriture d’artiste (literary writing) or patois de l’ame (the language of love). Pancrazi described Giotti as a poet who wrote mainly in dialect, but he differed from the usual poetry of Italian “dialects” that was often folkloric, standardized, generic, etc. Giotti spoke Tuscan Italian as his principal language, and he considered Triestine Venetian as “the language of the poetry” only – that it only had a literary and cultural value, but was not useful beyond that. Giotti’s Triestine Venetian lexicon was impoverished and full of simple words, with only a very sparse use of idioms. Giotti’s Trieste was far from the Trieste of Svevo, Saba and other writers: there’s no Port wine, no psychoanalysis and no Mitteleuropa. Giotti’s world is one of sensations, little places, family and friends, the arcana of quotidian existence. He was a romantic poet of everyday life. Let’s look at one of Giotti’s poems, With Bolàffio, in classic Triestine Venetian, then in modern Triestine Venetian, then in an Italian translation by Antonio Guerra (Italian language link) or Tonino Guerra (a famous Italian screenwriter), (Italian language link) and finally I will try to translate it into literary English. If you think you can do a better job of translating this into nice poetic English, even a line or two, give it a shot. This translation stuff is kind of fun! Con Bolàffio Virgilio Giotti Classic Triestine Venetian Mi e Bolàffio, de fazza un de l’altro, col bianco tavoja de la tovàia in mezo, su i goti e el fiasco in fianco, parlemo insieme. Bolàffio de ‘na piazza de Gorìzia el me conta, ch’el voria piturarla: ‘na granda piazza sconta, che nissun passa. Do tre casete atorno rosa, un fiatin de muro, un pissador de fero vècio stravècio, e el scuro de do alboroni. Xe squasi mezogiorno E un omo, vignù fora de là, se giusta pian pian, e el se incanta sora pensier. Bolàffio in ‘sta su piazza bela, noi, poeti e pitori, stemo ben. La xe fata pròpio pai nostri cuori, caro Bolàffio. In quel bel sol, in quela pase, se ga incontrado i nostri veci cuori; là i se ga saludado stassera alegri. Con Bolàffio Virgilio Giotti Modern Triestine Venetian Mi e Bolàffio, de muso un co’ l’altro, col bianco tavoja dela tovaia in mezo, su i calici e il fiasco de fianco parlemo insieme. Bolaffio, de ‘na piazza de Gorizia il me conta ch’el voleria piturarla ‘na grande piazza sconta che nessun passa Do tre casete atorno rosa, un fiatin de muro un pisador de fero vecio stravecio, e il scuro de do alberoni Xe quasi mezogiorno E un omo, vignù fora de là, se giusta pian pian, e il se incanta sora pensier. Bolàffio in ‘sta sua piaza bela noi, poeti e pìtori stemo ben. La xe fata proprio pei nostri cuori caro Bolaffio In quel bel sol, in quela pase, se ga incontrado i nostri veci cuori; là i se ga saludado stasera alegri Con Bolàffio Virgilio Giotti Italian translation by Antonia Guerra Io e Bolaffio, l’uno di fronte all’altro, col bianco della tovaglia in mezzo, i bicchieri alzati e accanto il fiasco, parliamo insieme. Bolaffio mi racconta di una piazza di Gorizia, che vorrebbe dipingerla: una grande piazza nascosta, dove nessuno passa. Due tre casette intorno, rosa, un poco di muro, un pisciatoio di ferro, vecchio stravecchio, e lo scuro di due alberoni. È quasi mezzogiorno. E un uomo, venuto fuori di lì, si mette a posto pian piano, s’incanta sopra pensiero. Bolaffio, in questa sua piazza bella, noi, poeti e pittori, stiamo bene. È fatta proprio per i nostri cuori, caro Bolaffio. In quel bel sole, in quella pace, si sono incontrati i nostri vecchi cuori; là si sono salutati stasera, allegri. With Bolàffio Virgilio Giotti English translation by Robert Lindsay Bolaffio and I, face To face, sitting down At a table dressed in white In the middle Picking up the wineglasses and a bottle nearby Together we’re talking Bolaffio is telling me He would like to draw A picture of a square in Gorizia It’s a big hidden square Nobody is walking through 2 or 3 small houses around Rose-colored, a small wall An iron pissoir* Very old, and the dark shadows From a couple of trees It’s around noon And a man came out Of that pissoir Slowly, he buttons up his pants And he stops himself No thoughts in his head Bolaffio In his nice square We, painters and poets We feel good here It was created just for our hearts Dear Bolaffio In this nice sunshine, In this Peace, our old hearts Have met each other And tonight They’re enjoying each other *pissing place= Vespasiano, where to piss My friend Paolo describes Giotti’s language as the old “Modern” Triestine Venetian.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)