Guido Cavalcanti (1250-1300) over Marilyn Monroe

Sonnet VII


Who is she coming, drawing all men’s gaze,
Who makes the air one trembling clarity
Till none can speak but each sighs piteously
Where she leads Love adown her trodden ways?

Ah God! The thing she’s like when her glance strays,
Let Amor tell. “T is no fit speech for me.
Mistress she seems of such great modesty
That every other woman were called “Wrath.”

No one could ever tell the charm she hath
For toward her all the noble Powers incline,
She being beauty’s godhead manifest.

Our daring ne’er before held such high quest;
Be ye! There is not in you so much grace
That we can understand her rightfully.

(translation Ezra Pound)

Chi è questa che vèn, ch’ogn’om la mira,
che fa tremar di chiaritate l’âre
e mena seco Amor, sì che parlare
null’ omo pote, ma ciascun sospira?

O Deo, che sembra quando li occhi gira,
dical’ Amor, ch’i’ nol savria contare:
cotanto d’umiltà donna mi pare,
ch’ogn’altra ver’ di lei i’ la chiam’ ira.

Non si poria contar la sua piagenza,
ch’a le’ s’inchin’ ogni gentil vertute,
e la beltate per sua dea la mostra.

Non fu sì alta già la mente nostra
e non si pose ’n noi tanta salute,
che propiamente n’aviàn conoscenza.

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