Poesie - Lelio Porreca

Le zampogne

Scendono dalle nubi le zampogne
portando cielo azzuro e ninne-nanne;
tra afror di mosti e odore di cotogne
bussano ai gran portoni e alle capanne.

Presso i presepi, con il dolce canto
di un dio bambino da adorare in pace,
le zampogne ridonano l’incanto
di fuochi vivi ancor sotto la brace,

ridando i sogni della fanciullezza
ed i ricordi degli amori puri,
l’amaro dei dolori e la tristezza
che i cuori umani rendono maturi.

Con loro giugon dalle lontananze
Quelli che nel pensier mai furo Assenti;
mentre, in danza di nevi e di fragranze,
sotto la terra vibran le sementi.

Tutto d’intorno è un alitar di vita;
nell’attesa di tutto l’universo
dall’oriente una stella s’è partita,
e il cielo azzuro n’esce ancur più terso.

Nella fede che invade il piano e il monte
E dei Re Magi al dono dell’incenso,
i geni ancora chinano la fronte
e piccoli si senton nell’immenso.

In questo annuale tremolar profondo,
che ci rende sereni ed innocenti,
si rinnova la nascita del mondo,
della Voce Divina ai nuovi accenti.







Illustrazione di (Illustration by) Mimmo Emanuele

The Pipe Players
(The Zampogne)

The Pipe Players come down from the clouds
Bearing blue sky and lullabies:
Amongst the reek of musts and the smell of quinces
They knock at the doors of big houses and shacks.

Next to the Christmas crib, with the sweet song
Of a child God to be adored in peace,
The Pipers give us back the enchantment
Of live fires still under the charcoal embers,

Giving us back our childhood dreams
And memories of pure loves,
The bitterness of pain and the sadnesses
That make human hearts mature.

With them from afar come
Those who are never absent from our thoughts;
Whilst, in a dance of snow and fragrances,
The seeds vibrate beneath the earth.

All around is a breath of life;
Awaiting for the entire universe
From the East a star has departed,
And an even clearer blue sky emerges from it.

In the faith which permeates the plain and the mountain
And from the Three Wise Kings to the gift of incense,
The people still bow their heads
And feel dwarfed by the vastness (of the universe).

In this profound annual quivering,
That makes us feel serene and innocent,
The birth of the world is renewed,
From the Voice Divine to new accents.


Zampogne – Abruzzan dialect for Zampognari = Pipe or bagpipe players – shepherds who come down from the mountains before Christmas to bring greetings, play music and earn a little extra cash, by going from house to house, district by district, playing their music and singing. Traditionally clad in their long cloaks, sheepskin waistcoats, felt hats with a feather in the hatband and criss-cross ribbons round their long socks, they are picturesque to see and awesome to hear.
The Zampogna – is the musical instrument played by a Zampognaro - a sort of a bagpipe; a musical instrument in which the player blows air into one or more pipes, which are provided with reeds, to inflate the instruments sack - which is then deflated under the arm to send the air through the pipe with finger holes; there are between one and three knobs that produce the fixed notes and one or more pipes, also known as chantares, on which the melody is played. The sack, made of leather, rubber or sometimes goretex, maintains air and produces a continuous sound. Sound is also created by the reeds, inserted into the mouthpiece, which are single or double depending on the model, originally made of cane, nowadays most reeds are plastic.
               English translation courtesy of Marion Apley Porreca

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