Fabrizio de André

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Un chimico

A Druggist

Un chimico

Solo la morte m’ha portato in collina
un corpo fra i tanti a dar fosforo all’aria
per bivacchi di fuochi che dicono fatui
che non lasciano cenere, non sciolgon la brina.
Solo la morte m’ha portato in collina.

Da chimico un giorno avevo il potere
di sposar gli elementi e farli reagire,
ma gli uomini mai mi riuscì di capire
perché si combinassero attraverso l’amore.
Affidando ad un gioco la gioia e il dolore.

Guardate il sorriso guardate il colore
come giocan sul viso di chi cerca l’amore:
ma lo stesso sorriso lo stesso colore
dove sono sul viso di chi ha avuto l’amore.
Dove sono sul viso di chi ha avuto l’amore.

Che strano andarsene senza soffrire,
senza un volto di donna da dover ricordare.
Ma è forse diverso il vostro morire
voi che uscite all’amore che cedete all’aprile.
Cosa c’è di diverso nel vostro morire.

Primavera non bussa lei entra sicura
come il fumo lei penetra in ogni fessura
ha le labbra di carne i capelli di grano
che paura, che voglia che ti prenda per mano.
Che paura, che voglia che ti porti lontano.

Ma guardate l’idrogeno tacere nel mare
guardate l’ossigeno al suo fianco dormire:
soltanto una legge che io riesco a capire
ha potuto sposarli senza farli scoppiare.
Soltanto una legge che io riesco a capire.

Fui chimico e, no, non mi volli sposare.
Non sapevo con chi e chi avrei generato:
son morto in un esperimento sbagliato
proprio come gli idioti che muoion d’amore.
E qualcuno dirà che c’è un modo migliore.


A Druggist

Only death brought me to the hill
a body among the many to give phosphorus air
for bivouacs of fires they say fatuous
that leave no ash, do not melt the frost.
Only death brought me to the hill.

From druggist one day I had the power
to marry the elements and make them react,
but the men I never managed to understand
why with a reaction they combined through love.
Entrusting a game the joy and pain.

Look at the smile you look at the color
as they play on the face of someone who is looking for love:
but the same smile the same color
where are they on the face of those who had love.
where are they on the face of those who had love.

How strange is to leave without suffering,
without a woman's face from having to remember.
But is it any different your dying
you that go out to the love you that give in April.
What's different in your dying.

Spring does not knock she enters safe
like the smoke she penetrates into every crevice
has the lips of meat hair of grain
what fear, what desire that she takes you by the hand.
What fear, what desire that she takes you away.

But look at the hydrogen silence in the sea
Look oxygen to his side sleeping:
only one law that I can understand
could marry them without making them explode.
One one law that I can understand.

I was chemical and, no, I did not want to marry.
I did not know with whom and who would I have generated:
I' died in an wrong experiment
just like the idiots who die of love.
And someone will say that there is a better way.

Spoon River Anthology (1915) - Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950).

Translation into Italian by Fernanda Pivano

Trainor, the Druggist

Only the chemist can tell, and not always the chemist,
What will result from compounding
Fluids or solids.
And who can tell
How men and women will interact
On each other, or what children will result?
There were Benjamin Pantier and his wife,
Good in themselves, but evil toward each other;
He oxygen, she hydrogen,
Their son, a devastating fire.
I Trainor, the druggist, a miser of chemicals,
Killed while making an experiment,
Lived unwedded.

Trainor, il farmacista

Soltanto un chimico può dire, e non sempre,
che cosa uscirà dalla combinazione
di fluidi o di solidi.
E chi può dire
come uomini e donne reagiranno
fra loro, e quali bambini nasceranno?
C'erano Benjamin Pantier e sua moglie,
buoni in se stessi, ma cattivi l'un l'altro:
ossigeno lui, lei idrogeno,
il figlio un fuoco devastatore.
Io, Trainor, il farmacista, mescolatore di elementi chimici,
morto mentre facevo un esperimento,
vissi senza sposarmi


Non al denaro non all'amore né al cielo (Not to Money, Not to Love, Nor to Heaven) is an album released by Fabrizio De André. It was issued in 1971. It is a concept album based on the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. The co-author of the music is composer Nicola Piovani, who later won an Academy award for his soundtrack for Roberto Benigni's Life is beautiful. The title itself is a citation from the first poem in the Spoon River Anthology, The Hill:

Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?

The University of Lausanne awarded to Fabrizio De Andrè's her Degree "Honoris Causa" in Foreign Literature for translation and free adaptation of some poems from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Master Fabrizio made by means of his album "not about money, not love nor to heaven. "

A chemist is taken from the history of Trainor, pharmacist, who does not understand unions between men and women but he understands and loves the unions between the chemical elements, and dies in an wrong experiment "just like the idiots / who die of love"

Eh eh, I like it because of that, because it combines two things I really love : chemistry and poetry.

However, as science progresses it deals only with the matter and therefore, for this basic reason that determines its orientation, it can never explain things like love, because, I repeat, does not wonder about the science this type of questions, and if it did it would be useless since it's lacking the elements necessary to find a decisive answer (it's like trying to solve an under -determined equation: too many unknowns and no data can be replaced).

In fact I get mad when I read articles such as "love explained" with the interview of the biochemist who thinks he is a demigod because he can show that love is a chemical exchange.
Well, just using a little ' logic you will understand how the biochemist in question did the grossest errors : he confused the cause with the means.
The beauty is that it is already 2000 years that we have warned you from making this mistake (Plato, although I do not really like him, I can not deny the evidence of what he says ).
That is, tell me how can you say such a thing just because you saw that IN CORRESPONDENCE of falling in love it's activated a given part of the brain? !
OK , we understand that this happens when you fall in love, there is this correspondence, but who ever said that this is the love?
Let me understand well: to this biochemist love to his wife would be a sleazy exchange between electrical and chemical synapses of his brain ? or is as contradictory as well as to be able to say that such a sentence does not diminish what is love ? !

When you are reasonable and rational one can never forget a part of speech. In this case, the biochemist in question has not totally forgotten the material: thought, 'I'. Exchanging the self with his own brain, in short, I find it just a retrograde thing... too many things are not explained by matter alone : it is so stupid to want to explain everything in any other way without admitting the premises of a philosophical kind such as Socratic - Platonic and Aristotelian.

It is like exchanging the trip with car... that is, you see how it is a coarse and stupid error ? The comparison, alas, is this, and holds up.

To conclude: the science, which I love very much, may prove the correspondence of something, but can only demonstrate what obeys things, well, my dear, here they can only try to convince me, as I can try to convince you that there is the 'I' . The difference lies in the fact that too many things are made to be paid to the 'I' and too many remain in the shadows or totally diminished or destroyed or become contradictory, if one does not admit that it is the brain that thinks, but that are we that use our brains for thinking.

Comments by: Gio R. translation Enrico Massetti

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