November: The Staghorn Sumac & Vivaldi's Autumn
(click on image to enlarge)
staghorn skyhorn "...Fa ch'ogn'uno tralasci e bali e canti,
L'aria che temperata dà piacere.
È la staggion ch'invita tanti e tanti
D'un dolcissimo sonno al bel godere.

from Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Le Stagioni: L'Autunno

(Concerto III)

This week, an image called
Staghorn Sumac, Autumn
Also: a new
translation from the Italian.

The guest poem for this week is a new English translation of a little-known sonnet
which was published together with the first edition of Antonio Vivaldi's (1678-1741)
Le Stagioni: L'Autunno / The Seasons: Autumn.
Whether Vivaldi himself
composed the sonnet is somewhat doubtful, but it does condense his own quasi
programmatic phrases included in the margins of the original score. Whatever we
might think of the poetry these days, the images of Fall upon which it is based did
lead Vivaldi to compose some of the most inspired string music of all time:


Celebra il vilanel con balli e canti
Del felice raccolto il bel piacere,
E del liquor di Bacco accesi tanti
Finiscono col sonno il lor godere.

Fa ch'ogn'uno tralasci e bali e canti,
L'aria che temperata dà piacere.
È la staggion ch'invita tanti e tanti
D'un dolcissimo sonno al bel godere.

I cacciator' alla nov'alba a caccia
Con corni, schioppi, e canni escono fuore.
Fugge la belva, e seguono la traccia.

Già sbigottita e lassa al gran rumore
De' schioppi e canni, ferita, minaccia
Languida di fuggir, ma oppressa, muore.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
(Sonnet used in Vivaldi's Op. 8 No. 3)

The peasants celebrate the pleasures of fall,
Great bountiful harvest with dance and song,
So fortified by wine of Bacchus all
They end their feast with sleep deep and long.

From songs and dances they all have done
As a gentle breeze tempers delight.
`Tis the season that invites all and one
To that sweetest of pleasures found in dream at night.

The hunters depart with the coming of first light
With horns and muskets and dogs they are led.
And chase the wild game, its trail in their sight.

The beast is frightened by the noise overhead
Of muskets and dogs—wounded, still threatens to fight
And stand and flee, but overwhelmed, it falls and is dead.

(tr. Cliff Crego)
The Four Seasons: Autumn
(Concerto III)

clip of autumn
| view / print Picture/Poem Poster: Autumn (86 K) | or download as PDF |


"Straight roads,
Slow rivers,
Deep clay."
A collection of contemporary Dutch poetry
in English translation, with commentary
and photographs
by Cliff Crego

| See also a selection of recent Picture/Poem "Rilke in translation" features at the Rilke Archive.

See also another website
by Cliff Crego:
The Poetry of
Rainer Maria Rilke
A presentation of 80 of the
best poems of Rilke in
both German and
new English translations
biography, links, posters

| # listen to other recordings in English and German of eight poems from
The Book of Images
at The Rilke Download Page (# Includes instructions)
| back to r2c | back to Picture/Poems: Central Display |
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Photograph/Texts of Translations © 2004 Cliff Crego