A poem by Antonio Mura Ena [A][B][C][D]

First published in Recuida, Edes, Sassari, 1998. La Biblioteca di Babele, Collana di letteratura sarda plurilingue, Diretta dal Prof. Nicola Tanda. [Commentary]
Janna cantadora
The original Sardinian
by A.M. Ena
Aiamus in domo una janna
de un'antiga linna cantadora;
intonaiat sa pesada in ora
chi l'aberian bessende.
Accabaiat sa torrada a ora
chi la toccheran intrende.

Milli cantones cantadas
e duradas milli vidas,
in ora 'e sas intradas,
accabu 'e sas bessidas.

Cantones de rusignolu
in cancaros sorrogados
accudian a consolu
de trastos pupuinados.

Fizas e fizos amados
dademi custu consolu,
unghide e appide dolu
de trastos pupuinados.

Dadeli ozu a sa janna,
unghidela chin sa mente:
chi cantet eternamente
in s'antiga domo manna.
Singing door
English Translation
© F.Chessa & G.Brelstaff
In our house stood
an old wooden door that'd sing;
It sung out first thing
when opened for leaving.
and would sing the return
when pushed to come in.

Thousands of songs
sung during thousands of lives,
at each hour of arriving,
each moment of leaving.

Nightingales' songs
creaking in hinges,
consolation reaching thus
apparatus left rusting.

Cherished daughters and sons
bring me consolation, pour on
your affection to lubricate the
apparatus left rusting.

Ply oil to the door
anoint with your mind:
he who,in this grand old abode,
sings for all time.
Commentary
The poet begins with a simple affectionate recollection the old wooden front door of his childhood home that used to squeak, or sing, from morning to night as people went in and out - a state of affairs that had gone so for many years. The poet describes how the door's song, like those of nightingales, permeated the house and, in particular, reached as far as some machinery bringing it consolation whilst it rusted or decayed. The poet is referring here to the Sardinian language itself, as he then implores its daughters and sons to lubricate it with their mind - this refers to the sound of the now neglected language rather than merely the squeaking of a door.
English version by © Francesca Chessa

[Home]