Giacomo da Lentini

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Giacomo da Lentini, also known as Jacopo da Lentini or with the appellative Il Notaro, was an Italian poet of the 13th century. He was a senior poet of the Sicilian School and was a notary at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Giacomo is credited with the invention of the sonnet.[1] His poetry was originally written in literary Sicilian, though it only survives in Tuscan. His poetry, which was an adaptation to Italian of the Provençal poetry of the troubadours, concerns courtly, chivalrous love.

As with other poets of the time, he corresponded often with fellow poets, circulating poems in manuscript and commenting on others; one of his main correspondents was Pier della Vigna.[2] Some of his sonnets were produced in tenzone, a collaborative form of poetry writing in which one poet would write a sonnet and another would respond, likewise in a sonnet; da Lentini cooperated in this manner with the Abbot of Tivoli.[3][4][5]

A "Canzone" of Giacomo da Lentini[edit]

This is one of the most popular poem - "Canzone" (Song) - of Giacomo da Lentini. The italian text is from "I poeti della Scuola siciliana. Vol. 1: Giacomo da Lentini", Milano, Mondadori, 2008, 47-49.

  Meravigliosa-mente
un amor mi distringe
e soven ad ogn'ora.
Com'omo che ten mente
in altro exemplo pinge
la simile pintura,
cosí, bella, facc'eo,
che 'nfra lo core meo
porto la tua figura.

  In cor par ch'eo vi porti,
pinta come parete,
e non pare di fore;
o Deo, co' mi par forte
non so se vi savete,
com' v'amo di bon core,
ca son sì vergognoso
ca pur vi guardo ascoso,
e non vi mostro amore.

  Avendo gran disio
dipinsi una pintura,
bella, voi simigliante,
e quando voi non vio
guardo 'n quella figura,
par ch'eo v'aggia avante:
sì com'om che si crede
salvare per sua fede,
ancor non via davante.

  Al cor m'ard'una doglia,
com'om che te-lo foco
a lo suo seno ascoso,
quando più lo 'nvoglia,
tanto arde più loco
e non pò stare incluso:
similemente eo ardo
quando pass'e non guardo
a voi, vis'amoroso.

  S'eo guardo quando passo,
inver'voi no mi giro,
bella, per risguardare;
andando, ad ogni passo
sì getto uno sospiro
che facemi ancosciare;
e certo bene ancoscio,
ch'a pena mi conoscio,
tanto bella mi pare.

  Assai v'aggio laudato,
madonna, in tutte parti
di bellezze ch'avete.
Non so se v'è contato
ch'eo lo faccia per arti,
che voi ve ne dolete:
sacciatelo per singa
zo ch'e' voi dire' a linga,
quando voi mi vedite.

  Canzonetta novella,
và canta nova cosa;
lèvati da maitino
davanti a la piú bella,
fiore d'ogn'amorosa,
bionda piú ch'auro fino:
«Lo vostro amor, ch'è caro,
donatelo al Notaro
ch'è nato da Lentino».

  Wonderfully
a love clenches me
and keeps me every time.
Like he who minds
in another example depicts
a similar painting,
so, beauty, I make her,
because, inside of my heart,
I bring her figure.

  It seems that I bring you in my heart,
painted as a wall,
and it seems not outside.
O God, how it seems hard
I don't know if you know it,
how I love you goodhearted;
because I am so bashful
that I look at you hidden
and I don't show you love.

  Because I had great wish
I painted a picture
beauty, similar to you,
and when I don't see you
I look at that figure,
as I have you in front of me:
like he who believes
to save himself for his faith,
though he doesn't see it onwards.

  In my heart a pain burns,
like he who keeps the fire
hidden in his breast,
when it invites him more,
then it burns stronger
and it cannot stay closed:
likewise I burn
when I go from and don't look
at you, lovely visage.

  If I look at, when I go from,
I don't turn to you,
beauty, for look you again;
going, at every step
I cast a big sigh
that make me distressed;
and sure I distress well,
that barely I recognize myself,
so beauty she seems to me.

  Enough I eulogized you
milady, in every part,
of the beauties that you hold.
I don't know if you realize
that I do it through the arts,
for you sorry of it:
that you know it through signs
what I don't say with tongue,
when you see me.

  O novel song,
go and sing new thing;
wake up at the morn
in front of the most beauty,
flower of every lover,
more blonde than fine gold:
«Your love, that is darling,
donate to the Notary
that is born in Lentini.»

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Giacomo Da Lentini."
  2. ^ Ploom 108.
  3. ^ Bondanella 255, 551.
  4. ^ Kleinhenz 62-64.
  5. ^ Lansing, The Complete Poetry of Giacomo da Lentini (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.