Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

(7 September 1791 – 21 December 1863 / Rome)

ER GIORNO DER GIUDIZZIO ( On Judgement Day)


Quattro angioloni co le tromme in bocca
Se metteranno uno pe cantone
A ssonà: poi co ttanto de vocione
Cominceranno a dì: "Fora a chi ttocca".

Allora vierà su una filastrocca
De schertri da la terra a ppecorone,
Pe ripijà ffigura de perzone
Come purcini attorno de la biocca.

E sta biocca sarà Dio benedetto,
Che ne farà du' parte, bianca, e nera:
Una pe annà in cantina, una sur tetto.

All'urtimo uscirà 'na sonajera
D'angioli, e, come si ss'annassi a letto,
Smorzeranno li lumi, e bona sera.


English

Four big angels with trumpets
Will stand one in each corner
Playing: then in a loud voice
They will start calling: "Who's next?".

So a row of skeletons
Will come out of the earth crawling on all fours,
To take human form again
Like chicks around the brooding hen.

And this hen will be the holy God
Who will divide them into two groups, white and black:
One to be sent to the cellar, one to the roof [2] .

In the end a crowd of angels
Will come out, and, as if going to bed,
They'll turn out the lights, and everything will be over.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Pepe Nero (10/26/2005 3:26:00 PM)

    I love this poem, it is existential and humorous at one and the same time. I have read a better translation of the last line /They'll turn out the lights, and everything will be over/ and that is /And turn out the lights and good night./ Note that 'e buona sera' in the original does translate into the literal 'and good night' a much stronger ending. (Report) Reply

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