THE ORIGIN OF THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE

There is no doubt that the Italian language was born in Sicily in the thirteenth century at the time of the Sicilian School of poetry whose main exponent was Iacopo da Lentini, the inventor of the sonnet.

A sonnet is a poem made up of fourteen rhyming lines: two quatrains and two triplets.

With the permission of Iacopo da Lentini, I dare to translate one of his sonnets into English. Of course, there are no rhymes in the English version. I hope Iacopo da Lentini will forgive me for my amateur translation.

AMOR E’ UNO DESIO CHE VEN DA CORE

Amore è uno desio che ven da core

Per abbondanza di gran piacimento;

E li occhi in prima generan l’amore

E lo core li dà nutricamento

Ben è alcuna fiata om amatore

Senza vedere so ‘namoramento

Ma quell’amor che stringe con furore

Da la vista de li occhi ha nascimento:

Ché li occhi rappresentan a lo core

D’ogni cosa che veden bono  e rio

Com’è formata naturalmente;

E lo cor, che di zo è concepitore,

Imagina, e li piace quel desio:

E questo amore regna fra la gente.

LOVE IS A DESIRE THAT COMES FROM THE HEART

Love is a desire that comes from the heart

Because of abundance of pleasure;

The eyes first generate love

And then, the heart nourishes it.

It is possible that sometimes a man loves

Without seeing the loved one,

But that love that grabs him with fury

Comes from the sight of the eyes:

Because the eyes show to the heart

The good and evil of everything

As it is naturally made of;

And the heart that receives the message (of the eyes)

Dreams and enjoys that desire:

And this is human love.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE LAST POST ABOUT SICILIAN CEMETERIES

 

At the end of the stairway, we turned left and arrived at my tomb.

“I built it near my grandmother’s tomb, the woman I loved most in my life. It’s a common tomb, very simple with a room inside and no niches. I made a large red marble heart and put it above the altar. Too late, I realized that I had not only instincts but also a heart inside me. Better late than never! I engraved this poem on the marble heart:

I cannot force others to open their hearts.

I can just open mine first.

Then I will knock on another heart’s door

With the light of my love.

Naturally, the door will open.

If I can open one heart,

that heart will be able to open another heart.

More and more hearts will open

as ripples spread out from where a stone has fallen.

The landscape of life on Earth will change.

No more violence, war, and hatred.

Love will shine on our lives.

“Your poem is very nice, Mario. You must be a good poet and a good writer, I guess.”

“I’m neither. I just get inspiration once in a while. I don’t know exactly where it comes from. I can only say that without inspiration I wouldn’t be able to write anything.”

“In my opinion, inspiration comes from heaven. If a poet is not a mystic, he won’t get inspiration from above. In Ancient Greece, the Muses, Zeus’s daughters, were the source of inspiration for artists. They got ideas from the Muses and the desire to create poems, paintings, sculptures, music, and the like. These days, the names of the Muses, of Zeus, and of the Olympian gods have changed into only the name of God, but deep down, the same god was worshipped in ancient times, even though he was given different names.”

This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2 The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

 

ANOTHER SICILIAN TOMB

I stumbled upon a tomb of a friend of mine. We had been classmates in middle school. Her name, Katia, was quite uncommon in Enna. Her voice sounded like the chirping of a chick. I’ll never forget her. She had short black hair. Her eyes were as black as coal, but her complexion was as white as snow.

Katia and I followed different destinies in our lives. I was always looking for my soulmate, without being able to find it, while Katia married a doctor soon after she earned a degree in modern literature at the University of Catania. Her marriage didn’t last long, for she divorced her husband two years later.

After graduating, Katia got a job as a middle school teacher. She also wrote a book of poems. Unfortunately, at the age of fifty, while driving her car on a foggy road, she ran into a truck and died after slipping into a coma for a month. The tombstone in her tomb had been engraved with a poem of hers:

Love is a wandering knight.

He appears to you only once in your life.

Don’t let him go.

When he goes away, it is too late.

This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2 The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

AN EPITAPH ON A SICILIAN TOMB

It was getting late. The keeper of the cemetery came and kindly asked her to head for the exit. Angela nodded. She took a sheet of paper from her bag and handed it to the keeper. It contained the epitaph she had written:

Death is a melter.

He gathers souls here and there.

Souls of the rich, souls of the poor,

Souls of the noble, souls of the plebeian.

Then he put them into its crucible where

All souls become ONE.

“Tomorrow, would you mind giving this sheet of paper to the stonecutter, please? He has already been informed. He will carve this epitaph on the marble wall above the altar,” Angela said.

The keeper of the cemetery bowed his head and said, “It will be done, my fair lady.”

This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2 The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A SICILIAN TRADITIONAL LOVE SONG

AMURI LUNTANU

O rinninedda ca passi lu mari,

Fermati quantu ti dicu du paroli,

Quantu ti tiru na pinna di st’ali,

Quantu fazzu na littra a lu me amuri.

Amuri, amuri, quantu si luntanu,

Cu ti lu conza lu littu la sira?

Cu ti lu conza, ti lu conza malu

Malatiddu ti truvi lu matinu.

Cunzari ti lu vurria cu li me manu,

Quantu di malatiddu stassuvu bunu.

DISTANT LOVE

O young swallow that fly across the sea,

Stop here! I want to tell you a few words.

I want to pull out a quill from your wing,

To write a letter to my love.

Love, love, what a long distance between us!

Who makes your bed in the evening?

The one who makes it, does not do well,

For, in the morning you get up sickly.

I wish I could make your bed with my hands.

So that, you could recover and grow healthy.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind