siamo desti!

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by jedna, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. jedna Senior Member

    Hello there,

    Can somebody help me out of this?
    The Greek choir wants Apollo to awake.
    The first sentence they say is:
    Inquieto Apollo, siamo desti! (Imperativo)
    My problem is with this: siamo desti!
    Could it be that is meant:
    "Be woken up!"

    Thanks in advance for your time and answering
  2. e_c New Member

    we are awake!
  3. Pinuzzo

    Pinuzzo Member

    New York
    American English
    What about "Let's wake up!"
  4. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    The Italian "essere desto" means "to be awake". I believe you should use the imperative form of the verb "to be awake": "let's be awake".
  5. jedna Senior Member

    Hello people

    Thanks for all your answers.
    I would prefer the "Let's wake up" -idea from Pinuzzo. It's powerfull and within the context the best choice,
    if... if there were not the grammatical version from alicip, who says it has to be'" let's be awake", which
    is less powerfull but a hundred % correct.
    So I have to fight here with my conscience, which one I have to take.
    In meantime I want to thank you again and wish you a nice day
  6. london calling Senior Member

    I prefer Let us awaken, giiven the linguisitic register of the original.;)
  7. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    Ma il verbo "to awaken" non traduce "svegliare/svegliarsi"?
  8. london calling Senior Member

    Yes, but Let us be awake (the literal translation) doesn't sound English to me.;)
  9. jedna Senior Member

    Hello again,

    Maybe it's helpful to have the whole poem?
    Here it is:

    Corus: Inquieto Apollo, siamo desti!

    Corus: La fronte intrepida ergi, déstati!

    Clio: Spira il sanguigno balzo...

    Clio: L’azzurro inospite è alto!

    Corus:Spaziosa calma...

  10. london calling Senior Member

    Thanks Jedna. Having read that, 'siamo desti' may not be the imperative, so I'd translate it literally: We are awake! And the imperative (destati!) in the next line : Awaken! (Not 'Wake up!; too colloquial...;)).
  11. Pat (√2)

    Pat (√2) Senior Member

    :thumbsup: Sono già svegli e invocano il sorgere del sole.
  12. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    Per me rimane un imperativo con un significato molto profondo e cioè "vegliare", stare svegli, stare vigili, attenti, stare sull’avviso. Forse sono solo io.
    Ecco alcuni riferimenti:
  13. jedna Senior Member

    Hallo london calling
    That was my first idea too. But I thougt: twice "awakening" is too much.
    Furthermore: I saw that accented "é" in the destati-word, second line.
    That was a concious choice of the poet, because in earlier versions he tried
    the thing without the accent.
    That's why I made of that "dé-sta-ti" "stand up/out of your bed, you!", in the sense of:
    "stare" plus "dé".
    Also because of that: "ergi la fronte". I mean: someone first awakes, then he has to
    "ergi la fronte" and only after that he stands up.
    So in my view it's not logical to command someone to "ergi la fronte" and only after that
    he has done so, command him to awaken.
    So, that's why I choose for the imparativo 'wake up' (or whatever the best solution
    may be).

    I hope my explanation is understandable, for my English isn't that briljant (beïng Dutch)
    Best regards,
  14. london calling Senior Member

    The accent on the 'e' in déstati is there to ensure you don't mix up the imperative form with the masculine plural of the past participle of the verb 'destare', ** which is pronounced with the accent on the 'a' (destàti).;)

    **stare + dé? See what the Treccani dictionary says about the origin of the verb, I quote:

    destare v. tr. [lat. *deexcitare, comp. di de- e excitare «svegliare»] (io désto, ecc.).

    Ok alicip.;) It's an imperative, but the translation let's be awake still doesn't work in English. How about:

    Be on your guard!

    Meaning: pay attention.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  15. jedna Senior Member

    to london calling:
    Yes, this crossed my mind too. But then...I thought it a too cheap solution for a great poet like Ungaretti to
    choose such a 'simple' and "unesthetic" thing, without having a "deeper" thought in mind.
    But maybe I'm wrong. But in that case I think that my idea of the right following-up (first awaken, then
    arising the head, then "the jumping out of the bed") stays very logical to me.
    And if the "siamo desti" is meant as: "we are awake", and not as an imperativo it is not very strong, nor poetic
    in my view to say: we are awake and then: (to Apollo) "Awake".

    to alicip:
    I have made up my mind and chosen for your first solution (the grammatical right one)
  16. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    ‘Let us not be asleep (καθε[upsilon, accent]δωμεν) like the rest but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep (καθε[upsilon, accent]δ[omicron]ντε[final small sigma]) sleep (καθε[upsilon, accent]δ[omicron]υσιν) at night and those who get drunk get drunk at night. Since we are of the day, let us be sober . . .’ :)
    I really like the following: let us watch, let us be alert, let us be watchful, let us stay awake. :)
  17. Pat (√2)

    Pat (√2) Senior Member

    Jedna, il sanguigno balzo non significa che Apollo salta giù dal letto. Il sanguigno balzo è il sorgere del sole: "sanguigno" perché il cielo si tinge di rosso. "Ergi la fronte", "déstati" e "sanguigno balzo" indicano la stessa cosa: l'aurora. Non è che il sole prima si sveglia, poi alza la testa, poi scende dal letto.
  18. jedna Senior Member

    Hello Pat, thanks for your warning me.

    That "jump out of the bed" was only given as an example to london calling, to explain (the issue was the second line here, no the third) that in my view it was
    not logical to command someone to rise the head and after that saying he has to wake up.
    In my Dutch translation I did not use this 'jump out of the bed', but the more 'delicate' "sta op" which also can be translated as: Alza (imperativo)
    which can more natural be linked to destare/svegliare.
  19. jedna Senior Member

    Thanks alicip,
    but meanwhile I searched in the book (vita d'un uomo) among
    the things Ungaretti himself wrote about his poems.
    In this "Apollo"-case he says the following:
    L'aprirsi di un mattino, l'invocazione a emanciparsi dalla notte.
  20. jedna Senior Member

    Yes, and in my diligence to reply I forgot to mention that all you wrote about the sunrise ecc. I had interpreted the same way like you,
    meaning that I directly had in mind the sunrise-aspect of the third line, but nót that one in the second line. Thus: you did me a great
    favour to tell that 'ergi la fronte' also has to be linked to the sunrise. I myself only saw Apollo's head "on the cushion" so to speak
    (which wasn't really mistaken, I think, but only half part of the thing).

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