Marianne Moore and Italinglish(3)

 

 TO VICTOR HUGO OF MY CROW PLUTO
 “Even when the bird is walking we know that it has wings.” — Victor Hugo
 by Marianne Moore

 Of:
 my crow
 Pluto,

the true
 Plato,

 azzurro-
 negro

 green-blue
 rainbow,
 
Victor Hugo,
 it is true

 we know
 that the crow
 
“has wings” how-
 ever pigeon-toed
 
inturned on grass. We do
 (adagio)

 Vivo-
 rosso

 “corvo”;
 although
 
con dizio-
 nario

 io parlo
 Italiano-

 this pseudo
 Esperanto

 which, savio
 ucello,

 you speak too-
 my vow and motto

 (botto e totto)
 io giuro

 e questo
 credo:

 lucro
 e peso morto.

 And so
 dear crow-

 gioiello
 mio-

 I have to
 let you go;

 a bel bosco
 generoso,
 
tuttuto
 vagabondo,

 serafino
 uvacceo.
 
Sunto,
 oltremarino
 
verecondo
 Plato, addio.
  
 

Although Marianne Moore admits she could speak Italian only with the help of a dictionary she seems able to create some sort of meaning (she says goodbye to her crow and lets it go) using a pseudo-Esperanto, a mixture of English and Italian.

Some say this poem is a tribute to one of her pets, others to a mechanical crow, a tin wind-up toy, and it survives only because Marianne Moore “kept everything.” 

Here are some English equivalents for the Italian words that I was able to decode in this pseudo Esperanto:
azzurro-negro: blue-black
vivorosso: bright red
con dizionario: with dictionary
savio ucello: wise bird
botto e totto: ?
io giuro: I swear
è questo credo: it is this I think
lucro è peso morto: profit is a dead weight
gioièllo mio: my jewel (sweetheart)
a bel bosco: to a lovely wood
tuttuto (?) vagabondo: complete idler
serafino uvaceo: grape-black seraph
sunto: summary- to sum up
oltremarino: ultramarine
verecondo: modest
addio: goodbye

Ecco l’equivalente italiano delle parole in inglese
A VICTOR HUGO DEL MIO CORVO PLUTONE
“Even when the bird is walking we know that it has wings.”—Victor Hugo =”Anche quando un uccello cammina sappiamo che ha le ali.” – Victor Hugo
Of: my crow Pluto, the true Plato = Di: il mio corvo Plutone, il vero Platone,
….
green-blue rainbow / Victor Hugo,/ it is true /we know that the crow/“has wings,” how/-ever pigeon-toe-/inturned on grass./ We do. = verde blu/arcobaleno,/Victor Hugo,/è verso/sappiamo/che il corvo/”ha le ali” comun-/que con i piedi/ rivolti all’interno/sull’erba./ Noi facciamo

although= sebbene

you speak too /— my vow and motto= parli anche tu/ila mia promessa e il mio motto

And so/ dear crow= E così/caro corvo

— I have to/let you go;= devo/lasciarti andare;

27 thoughts on “Marianne Moore and Italinglish(3)

  1. Credo…. fosse un oggetto custodito ecco perché nei suoi scritti si denota spesso questo senso di appartenere-appartenenza-custodire, la visione del momento.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post and your last couple of posts about Marianne Moore. What a talented writer and she writes so meaningfully, especially about letting go of her crow. Very creative of her to write it in mixture of English and Italian. Some feelings and techniques is best expressed in certain languages. Hope you are well and stay safe, Luisa.

    Liked by 1 person

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