A Luna!


“Faciti ‘u pane?” “A Luna!”, così rispondeva mia madre alle amiche che passando vicino casa nostra la salutavano dalla strada ad alta voce: la via allora risuonava di una grazia gentile ed anche lo scontento della mia adolescenza inquieta si leniva. Non ricordavo più questa espressione, perché il tempo tiranno ci ruba qualche memoria preziosa. Ma sere addietro mentre passeggiavo una signora, che fa parte della schiera di alcuni splendidi ottantenni che Cortale in questa fase storica ha la fortuna di avere grazie al miglioramento delle condizioni di vita, donne e uomini in grande forma che erano ragazzi in fiore quando ero bimba, ha contraccambiato il mio saluto con un Buonasera, figghia! E’ vero che non ci vedevamo da anni, ma non eravamo mai state legate da un particolare rapporto di amicizia. Quella parola, figghia, era antica ed aveva il sapore di rapporti differenti a Cortale, più cortesi per certi aspetti. Essa ha avuto il potere di riportarmi  per un attimo ritmi e suoni perduti e mi ha fatto ritrovare quell’allegro e delizioso a Luna! di mia madre, la quale amava a volte chiamare gli altri con il nome dello stupendo corpo celeste. Mi ha anche permesso di rammentare che ai ragazzi gli anziani tempo fa si rivolgevano con quell’appellativo, come se fossimo tutti loro figli, ed i giovani, dal canto nostro, davamo rispettosamente del “voi” anche a chi era leggermente più grande. Quanto a me, le idee che mi frullavano in testa erano nuove, ma non avrei mai pensato di offendere qualcuno, soprattutto se adulto. Per formazione non rimpiango certamente il passato e penso che sia migliore la nostra epoca, visto che pure al Sud almeno mangiamo tutti (diciamo così!) e quando ci piace, rispetto agli anni Cinquanta. Quando però qualche giovinetto in fiore a Cortale rimprovera stizzosamente noi anziani poiché, invece di pensare alla morte, ci muoviamo su Internet con diletto, non posso non notare la volgarità dilagante, per tacere sul resto. Figghi, ogni tanto rispondiamo a Luna!

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3 pensieri su “A Luna!

  1. “Are you going to make bread?” “A Luna [Literally translated this means – At the moon.  Frankly, I’ve never heard anybody respond in this way to this question – if you read it phonetically it could mean “At One o’clock” but the way it’s spelled and based on the rest of the post it probably means “At the full moon”, at some phase of the moon or possibly when the moon comes out.  I do remember that people planted and harvested based on lunar cycles, but baking by the moon is news to me.  I suspect that people passing did not literally mean to ask her when she was baking, and likewise her response was not intended to be literal – this was just a friendly way of greeting and responding just like we may say What’s up, but not literally be asking what is above], in this way my mother would respond to friends who were passing by our house and would greet her from the street: the street in this way resonated with a gentle grace and even the worries of my discontent adolescence were eased.  I had long forgotten this expression, because the tyrant of time that robs us of some precious memories.  However, while I was walking a few evenings ago a woman, one of an array of amazing octogenarians that Cortale from this historical phase is lucky to have due to improved living conditions, women and men in good shape who were in their prime when I was a little girl in bloom, responded to my greeting with the greeting Good evening daughter [figghia is the dialect for figlia – daughter – and was commonly used as a term of endearment when referring to a girl even when the girl was not your daughter].  It is true that we had not seen each other for years, but we never had any strong bond of friendship.  This word, daughter, was old and had the flavor of a different rapport in Cortale, more polite in certain aspects.  It had the power to bring me back for a moment to the lost rhythms and sounds and it made me remember that happy and charming At the full moon! of my mother, who loved to sometimes call others with the name of this heavenly celestial body.  It also allowed me to remember that in past times the older people referred to young people with  that expression, as if we were all their children and the young people, for our part, gave the respectful “voi” [the author is referring to the formal form of the word “you” that is supposed to be used to address people that you do not know or who are your elders, verses the more informal “tu” form that you would use with your friends] even to those who were even just a bit older than we were.  For my part, the ideas that were floating in my head were new, but I never thought of offending anybody, above all an adult.  For development I certainly do not regret the past and think that our current era is certainly better, as in the South at least we all eat (so to speak!) whenever we like, in comparison to the 1950’s.  When however some young man in bloom in Cortale angrily scolds we seniors because, instead of thinking about death, we move to the internet with delight, I cannot but help notice the rampant vulgarity, not to mention the rest.  My children [figghi – dialect for figli – children] every once and a while let’s respond with At the full moon.

    Mi piace

  2. Gentile anonimo traduttore,
    ho notato la difficoltà nel rendere in inglese l’espressione dialettale “a Luna”. In cortalese quando ci si rivolge a qualcuno è d’uso premettere l’interiezione “a”: dunque, si dice “a Micu”, “a Peppe”, ecc. In italiano, è noto, basta il solo nome proprio: Domenico, Giuseppe, ecc. In questo caso “a Luna” alla lettera diventa “Luna”, ma in realtà traduce un concetto poetico che si potrebbe restituire con “Oh, sei splendida come la luna”.
    Dialettando

    Mi piace

  3. A poster has written to provide assistance with the dialect in this post

    Dear anonymous translator
    I have noted the difficulty in rendering in English the dialect expression “a Luna”.  In Cortalese when you call to somebody it is customary to precede the interjection with “a”: therefore one would say “a Micu” [Micu is the diminutive for Dominic – so a close translation in English for this would be – hey Dom], hey Joe [Peppe is the diminutive for Giuseppe – Joseph], etc.  In Italian, it is noted, that only the name itself is used: Dominic, Joseph, etc.  In this case “a Luna” would literally become “Moon”, but the true translation is a poetic concept which might be presented as “Oh, your beautiful like the moon”
    The Dialectician

    Thank you to this poster for this assistance

    Mi piace

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