Italian rhythms
June 24, 2008 2:35 AM   Subscribe

Do you speak Italian? Would you be willing to either read this short (five-line) poem into my voicemail or respond in the thread telling me where the stresses are in each phrase?

I have a good sense of word-by-word Italian pronunciation but only limited knowledge of the grammar. So hearing this poem read aloud would let me be sure I know where the strongest overall stresses are across each phrase. I'd like to be able to speak it out loud correctly (with the correct stresses).

I'd be equally grateful for text responses here or voicemails. I set up a number you can call: 206-426-6952 (it's voicemail-only, so you can call anytime). I won't use your message for anything other than my private listening/study. (Or if you'd rather email me an mp3 of yourself speaking, my email address is in my profile.)

Thanks so much for your help.

E così, a poco a poco, Torno farfalla semplicetta al foco,

E nel fallace sguardo un'altra volta mi consumo ed ardo.

Ah, che piaga d'amore quando si cura più tanto men sana;

Ch'ogni fatica è vana quando fu punto un giovinetto core
dal primo e dolce strale.

Chi spegne antico incendio il fa immortale.

(It's by Battista Guarini and here's a translation, if anybody's curious:

And thus, little by little, I return like a foolish butterfly to the flame

and by deceiving glances I am once again consumed and burnt.

Alas, the wounds of love are less likely to heal when tended to;

All striving is in vain once the young heart has been pierced
by the first sweet arrow.

One who seeks to quench the old flame makes it immortal.

posted by kalapierson to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've gotten one voicemail already... sincere thanks to whoever left it. Wish I could give it a Best Answer marking. :)

More are very welcome!
posted by kalapierson at 3:17 AM on June 24, 2008

this is where the stresses are, although there's a few tricks about the vowels (in the 2nd verse, for instance, the 'o's in 'poco' are with an acute accent, while the 'o' in 'foco' is grave. I'm recording & emailing you a sound snippet (though my voice is - um - not so good at this) with as neutral an accent I can reproduce.

e cosI', a pOco a pOco, tOrno farfAlla semplicEtta al fOco,

e nel fallAce sguArdo un'Altra vOlta mi consUmo ed Ardo.

ah, che piAga d'amOre quAndo si cUra più tAnto mEn sAna;

ch'Ogni fatIca è vAna quAndo fu pUnto un giovinEtto cOre
dal prImo e dOlce strAle.

chi spEgne antIco incEndio il fA immortAle.
posted by _dario at 6:01 AM on June 24, 2008

kalapierson: can you please post the voicemail online? I'd love to listen to it too.
posted by stereo at 6:38 AM on June 24, 2008

Nope, because in my question I told people the voicemails they left would be just for my private use. (But if anybody from this point forward wants to have their reading accessible to the world, we could find a way to make that happen...)
posted by kalapierson at 7:25 AM on June 24, 2008

No problem for me; here's me barking the poem.
posted by _dario at 7:58 AM on June 24, 2008

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