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Unread 01-08-2022, 09:47 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 7,669
Default Petrarch 90 (hair again)

Francesco Petrarca (Tuscan, 1304-1374)

Her hair of gold was scattered by the air
Sonnet 90

DRAFT TWO

Her hair of gold was scattered by the air
into a thousand twistings, gently knit;
and countless times, a scintillation lit
those lovely eyes, in which the light's now rare.

To me, her face seemed kind, though I can't swear
her pity's hues were true, or counterfeit;
and I, who in my chest kept tinder set
for love, caught fire at once. (What wonder there?)

It wasn’t mortal, but angelic, how
she moved; her speech, as well, did not appear it
was how a merely human voice is tuned.

A living sun, a sky-descended spirit,
was what I saw: and if she’s less so now,
the bow’s unstringing doesn’t heal the wound.


L3 was (after a period in L2):
Too frequently to count, a twinkle lit


DRAFT ONE

Her hair of gold was scattered by the air
into a thousand twistings, gently knit;
and past all measurement, a twinkle lit
those lovely eyes, in which it’s now so rare.

To me, her pitying face seemed hued by care—
I don’t know now if true or counterfeit;
and I, whose chest held tinder ready-set
for love, caught fire at once—what wonder there?

It wasn’t mortal, but angelic, how
she walked; and furthermore, her voice, to hear it,
was not how purely human speech is tuned;

a living sun, a heaven-dwelling spirit
was what I saw: and if she’s not so now,
the bow’s unstringing doesn’t heal the wound.

L3 was:
and past all measure, passion’s twinkle lit
L5 was:
To me, her face seemed hued by heartfelt care—



ITALIAN ORIGINAL                                LITERAL ENGLISH PROSE CRIB

Erano i capei d’oro a l’aura sparsi                 They were, the/her hairs (capelli) of gold, in the air/breeze spread,
che ’n mille dolci nodi gli avvolgea,                 which into a thousand sweet/gentle knots/tangles wound them,
e ’l vago lume oltra misura ardea                 and the vague/dim/desirable/wandering (several definitions) light beyond measure was burning
di quel begli occhi, ch’or ne son si scarsi;                 of those beautiful eyes, which now of it are so deprived/in it are so scarce;

e ’l viso di pietosi color’ farsi,                 and the/her face to become of sympathetic/pity-feeling colors, (could be "to be dressed in...colors")
non so se vero o falso, mi parea:                 I don’t know whether true or false, it seemed to me:
i’ che l’esca amorosa al petto avea,                 I (io) who had (avea) the amorous food/bait in my chest,
qual meraviglia se di s¨bito arsi?                 what wonder if I suddenly (was) burned?

Non era l’andar suo cosa mortale,                 It wasn’t, the/her walk, a mortal thing,
ma d’angelica forma; e le parole                 but of angelic form; and the/her words
sonavan altro che, pur voce umana;                 sounded different than (a) purely human voice;

uno spirito celeste, un vivo sole                 a celestial spirit, a living sun
fu quel ch’i vidi: e se non fosse or tale,                 was what I saw: and if she be not now such,
piagha per allentar d’arco non sana.                 (the) wound (piaga) by slackening the bow is not healed.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 01-09-2022 at 10:13 AM.
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