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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Petrarch, Sir Thomas Wyatt and William Barnes: Sonnet 189, two translations from the Italian

Petrarch, Sonnet 189

Passa la nave mia colma d'oblio
per aspro mare, a mezza notte il verno,
enfra Scilla et Caribdi; et al governo
siede 'l signore, anzi 'l nimico mio.

A ciascun remo un penser pronto et rio
che la tempesta e 'l fin par ch'abbi a scherno;
la vela rompe un vento humido eterno
di sospir', di speranze, et di desio.

Pioggia di lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni
bagna et rallenta le già stanche sarte,
che son d'error con ignorantia attorto.

Celansi i duo mei dolci usati segni;
morta fra l'onde è la ragion et l'arte,
tal ch'incomincio a desperar del porto

Sir Thomas Wyatt's version:

My galley charged with forgetfulness
   Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass
   ‘Tween rock and rock; and eke mine enemy, alas,
   That is my lord, steereth with cruelness;
And every oar a thought in readiness,
   As though that death were light in such a case.
   An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
   Of forced sighs, and trusty fearfulness.
A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
   Hath done the wearied cords great hinderance;
   Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance,
The stars be hid that led me to this pain;
   Drowned is reason that should me consort,
And I remain despairing of the port.

William Barnes' translation (from William Barnes of Dorset, Giles Dugdale, 1953)

Barnes included his translation in a letter to Julia Miles (his wife-to-be), dated Mere, December 4, 1826. He tells her that he translated it for amusement, adding that "it suited my case at that that time in some points". 


Another Petrarch Sonnet, Una Candida Cerva, set to music by my great friend, the late Raul Scacchi

La Rochelle, France: Two Paintings of the Port

The Port at La Rochelle, Albert Marquet

Jean Rigaud, The entrance to the Port of La Rochelle

The "Best Places" to Live in the UK: Top Twenty, 2017, Halifax Quality of Life Index

Good news for some...

From Lauen Weymouth,  Love Money via MSN

"The tenth annual Halifax Quality of Life Index has ranked 250 districts across the UK to find out where living standards are highest. The research looked at 24 categories including average earnings, employment, health, life expectancy, personal well-being, education and broadband speed".

West Dorset at No. 15:

"The district of West Dorset, which includes towns such as Dorchester, Sherborne, Bridport and Beaminster, jumped up 19 places this year from position 34 in 2015. It is also ranked as the best place to retire to, due to high life expectancy, good health and general affluence".

Purbeck came No 7:

"This Dorset region, which is home to Corfe Castle, Wool, Swanage and Bovington, scored seventh place this year, after not making the top 50 last year. Much like the rest of Dorset, Purbeck is popular for retirees and families alike, as it is one of the safest, most affluent and picturesque areas in the UK".

Winchester came top:


"The district of Winchester in Hampshire won the top spot in this year's survey. It had one of the highest employment rates in all 250 districts included in the research at 83.1%, compared to a UK average of 73.7%. Crime rates are also among the lowest in the country and the adult population is among the happiest, satisfied, content and least anxious in the UK".

I keep thinking of Grenfell Tower.

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Write Me a Few Lines, 1969

From Dust-to-Digital

The same year I heard him perform live:

More wonderful blues and jazz videos

Greek Migration to the UK

A little Greece in Britain, Constantinos Zoulas, from eKathimerini

"The largest wave of Greek migration to Britain occurred after 2012. According to data from the UK’s National Insurance Fund, 7,500 Greeks started working in the country in 2012, 9,800 in 2013 and 12,000 in 2015. What kinds of jobs have they taken? “Any kind you can imagine,” said NP, who was among the first new immigrants to arrive. “In England you don’t just find Greeks employed in the finance sector, you also find them working as doctors, directors and musicians. There are Greeks in the construction sector too,” he said, explaining that few back home are aware of “how many thousands of engineers and architects have migrated here from our country, bringing their whole crews along with them.”

Souli, Epirus: Investment in the Historic Region of the Souliots

This could be a huge success story! Long overdue.

From Kathimerini (in Greek)


Chapter 4, from the book below