Shakespeare in Romanesco – Sonnet I

Happy 2016!

After the Christmas break, Transferre is restarting its translation activities or, better, its trapianti (“transplantations”) into minority languages.

ShakespeareToday, I am pleased to host a truly remarkable translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet I into Romanesco dialect. The mysterious translator hides behind the pen name of “Peppe ’r Tostino”, echoing the pseudonym of his illustrious ancestor, “Peppe ’r Tosto”, Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, the nineteenth-century Italian poet who made a name for himself thanks to his brilliant sonnets in Romanesco.

Peppe ’r Tostino, sharing much of his maestro’s wit, has decided to introduce himself through this sonnet (in Romanesco, of course):

Audio file here
Scaricare il file audio qui

Sull’orme del «Tosto».

È ’n’anno, che lo possin’ammazzallo,
che su l’orme de quello me strascino.
Quello, sì, ch’era ‘’n Tosto! Io… ’n Tostino.
M’ariesce a malappena a scimmiottallo.

Annaspo, aranco, ’nciampico, cammino,
scivolo giù stò p’affogà riaggallo…
boccheggio affanno tribbolo e trabballo:
me s’ aridotto quasi ar lampioncino.

Come ’n tarlo me rosica er cervello
quela zozza de rima… “vade retro!”…
tanto che mò ce ll’ho ch’è ’no sbrindello.

Pussavia puro tu, dico a te, metro!
Volete forze véde lo sfraggello?
Annàtevene, sciò!, tutt’e ddua addietro.

©Peppe ’r Tostino

Here is Peppe’r Tostino’s masterful translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet I, which, we hope, will become a series on Transferre. Indeed, Peppe’r Tostino’s ambition is to translate all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Don’t forget to listen to the excellent audio file.

Audio file here
Scaricare il file audio qui

Sonetto n. 1 di Shakespeare
in Romanesco

de Peppe ’r Tostino

Li mejo giovene hanno da scopà,
perché non schiatti quer sanguaccio loro
e quanno sarà poi l’ora de schiodà
c’avrà n’erede come ’n ghirigoro.

E ’nvece tu? l’occhioni ‘n fricassea,
te conzumi a guardatte ne lo specchio,
e sparagni quer sangue tuo d’Enea…
Aspetta ‘n’antro po’, e sarai vecchio!

Oggi te credi er mejo der bigonzo,
sculetti ’n giro come li dèi greci
ma a me me pari solo ’n pòro stronzo

che già puzza de tera pe’ li ceci.
Sei ggeneroso solo in avarizzia,
e presto creperai pe ’st’itterizzia.

©Peppe ’r Tostino

 

Shakespeare’s Sonnet I

Original English Version

 

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

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