Friday, January 27

Ros'e Argende

by Douglass DeCandia

Ros’e Argende is the name of a folk song from the Montemarano, Campania region, that inspired the poem. It means Rose and Silver in the dialect of the region.

I heard 

a song 

today

 

An old song

from the old country

 

It sounded like wind 

and spoke 

of longing

 

Though I did not 

know the words

 

My body became 

a field of poppy

and wheat

 

And for a moment

that was the forever of this song

 

Time lost 

itself 

in me

 

And we circled 

together

 

Back

and around

and forth again

 

Untethered

in the wind.

 

——-

The original song recording

Ros’e Argende, read by the author:

Original lyrics:

Ros’ e argende se n’ha jute,

E la signora è romanuta,

 

Ohì signo’, ohì signo’,

Ros’ e argende, è ros’ d’amor.

 

La signora è romanuta,

E a la foresta se n’è juta,

 

Ohì signo’, ohì signo’,

Ros’ e argende, è ros’ d’amor.

 

E a la foresta se n’è juta,

e le castagne s’e ‘ignuda,

 

Ohì signo’, ohì signo’,

Ros’ e argende, è ros’ d’amor.

 

Le castagne s’è ‘ignuda,

E tutte quanta s’è vennute,

 

Ohì signo’, ohì signo’,

Ros’ e argende, è ros’ d’amor.