Archivio testo: The lamb

Analisi in inglese The Lamb

WILLIAM BLAKE

THE LAMB

– SONGS OF INNOCENCE –


– ANALISI IN INGLESE –
– con VERSIONE IN ITALIANO –



Analisi in inglese


“The Lamb” is a poem written by the English poet William Blake, published in 1789 as part of the collection “Songs of Innocence”.

The poem is divided into two stanzas, each containing five rhymed couplets; last couplet in each stanza repeats the opening couplet with very small variations: repetition makes these lines a “refrain”, and contributes to give the poem its “song-like” quality. The rhyme scheme is: AA-BB-CC-DD + refrain AA.

The poem is a child’s song, in the form of a question and an answer.

The speaker – a childlike voice – opens the poem by asking a lamb if it knows the identity of its creator.

In the following lines of first stanza the speaker poses a string of further questions, which, repeating in varied forms the first one, highlight some of the “gifts” given to the lamb by its creator: the idyllic scenario in which lamb was placed, the soft coat and the tender voice of which was provided.

The speaker poses these questions with typical candor of a child, suggesting the impression of a simple and spontaneous faith.

To the effect of naivety contributes poem’s apostrophic form, since the situation of a child talking to an animal is a believable one, and the reader at once doesn’t think to a literary contrivance.

However simplicity is only apparent: child’s questions are both naive and profound, and on a closer inspection, they concern the most complex and timeless questions that all human beings have: origins and creation.

This is the first indication of the symbolic meaning in this poem.

In the second stanza the speaker attempts an answer to his own questions, and declares that the lamb was made by the one who “calls himself a Lamb,” and who resembles, in his meekness and mildness, both a child and a lamb.

Since Jesus in Christian literature is usually called “Lamb of God”, it’s clear that the speaker refers to Jesus.

The answer puts the reader in front of child’s deep confidence in his simple Christian faith and his innocent acceptance of its teachings.

And the fact that the child respond as if answering an easy riddle enhances further the impression of the speaker’s naïve confidence.

This way the poem reveals its true character of investigation – carried out through the symbols of the child and the lamb – into the condition of innocence, in which even the deepest and timeless questions of human beings seem to have easy responses.

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And precisely in this confidence facing the most complex topics of human condition, consists, in its accomplished formulation, the perspective of “Innocence” in the poem The Lamb.

In the matter of language and figure of speech, Blake achieves the childlike voice in the poem through the cumulative effect of:

– repeating words associated with gentleness: ‘little’, ‘mead’, ‘delight’, ‘softest’, ‘woolly’, ‘tender’, ‘meek’, ‘mild’.

– preponderance of L and M sounds, that reinforces the flowing, soft implications of the language.

– presence of refrain with repetition of the apostrophe to the “Lamb” within;

– paratactic syntax with few subordinate.

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Analisi in inglese con traduzione interlineare


Per comodità di utilizzo dell’analisi di “The Lamb” di William Blake, forniamo qui di seguito una traduzione letterale, periodo per periodo, del testo dell’analisi in inglese.


“The Lamb” is a poem written by the English poet William Blake, published in 1789 as part of the collection “Songs of Innocence”.

“The Lamb” (ossia: “L’agnello”) è una poesia scritta dal poeta inglese William Blake, e pubblicata nel 1789 all’interno della raccolta “Songs of Innocence” (ossia: “Canti dell’Innocenza”).


The poem is divided into two stanzas, each containing five rhymed couplets; last couplet in each stanza repeats the opening couplet with very small variations: repetition makes these lines a “refrain”, and contributes to give the poem its “song-like” quality. The rhyme scheme is: AA-BB-CC-DD + refrain AA.

La poesia è divisa in due strofe, ciascuna delle quali contiene cinque distici rimati; l’ultimo distico di ciascuna strofa ripete il distico iniziale, con minime variazioni: tale ripetizione rende questi versi un “ritornello”, e concorre a conferire alla poesia l’andamento da “filastrocca” che la contraddistingue. Lo schema delle rime è: AA BB CC DD + il ritornello AA.


The poem is a child’s song, in the form of a question and an answer.

La poesia è la filastrocca di un bambino, nella forma di una domanda e una risposta.


The speaker – a childlike voice – opens the poem by asking a lamb if it knows the identity of its creator.

L’io lirico – la voce di un bambino – apre la poesia chiedendo ad un agnello se conosca l’identità di colui che l’ha creato.


In the following lines of first stanza the speaker poses a string of further questions, which, repeating in varied forms the first one, highlight some of the “gifts” given to the lamb by its creator: the idyllic scenario in which lamb was placed, the soft coat and the tender voice of which was provided.

Nei versi successivi della prima strofa, l’io lirico pone una serie di ulteriori domande,  le quali, variando sul tema della domanda iniziale, mettono in risalto alcuni dei doni fatti all’agnello dal suo creatore: lo scenario idilliaco nel quale l’agnello è stato posto, il manto soffice e la voce delicata che gli sono stati dati.


The speaker poses these questions with typical candor of a child, suggesting the impression of a simple and spontaneous faith.

L’io lirico pone queste domande con un candore infantile, suggerendo l’impressione di una fiducia ingenua e spontanea.


To the effect of naivety contributes poem’s apostrophic form, since the situation of a child talking to an animal is a believable one, and the reader at once doesn’t think to a literary contrivance.

All’effetto di “ingenuità” contribuisce la forma dialogica della poesia, dal momento che la situazione di un bambino che parla con un animale può essere percepita come una situazione verosimile, e il lettore nell’immediato non pensa ad una situazione letteraria convenzionale.


However simplicity is only apparent: child’s questions are both naive and profound, and on a closer inspection, they concern the most complex and timeless questions that all human beings have: origins and creation.

Tuttavia la semplicità è solo apparente: le domande del bambino sono sì ingenue, ma al contempo anche profonde, e a ben guardare, esse vanno a toccare gli interrogativi più complessi e senza tempo di tutti gli esseri umani: le origini e la creazione.


This is the first indication of the symbolic meaning in this poem.

Questa è la prima spia del significato simbolico della poesia.


In the second stanza the speaker attempts an answer to his own questions, and declares that the lamb was made by the one who “calls himself a Lamb,” and who resembles, in his meekness and mildness, both a child and a lamb.

Nella seconda strofa l’io lirico tenta di dare una risposta alle domande che egli stesso ha posto, e dichiara che l’agnello è stato creato da colui che “si chiama a sua volta Agnello”, e che assomiglia, nella sua mitezza e dolcezza, sia a un bambino, sia all’agnello.

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Since Jesus in Christian literature is usually called “Lamb of God”, it’s clear that the speaker refers to Jesus.

Poiché Gesù, nella tradizione cristiana, è di solito chiamato “l’Agnello di Dio”, è chiaro che colui che parla si riferisce a Gesù.


The answer puts the reader in front of child’s deep confidence in his simple Christian faith and his innocent acceptance of its teachings.

La risposta mette il lettore di fronte alla profonda fiducia del bambino nella propria semplice fede cristiana e all’ingenua accettazione, da parte sua, degli insegnamenti di essa.


And the fact that the child respond as if answering an easy riddle enhances further the impression of the speaker’s naïve confidence.

Ed il fatto che il bambino risponda come se rispondesse  ad un facile indovinello, accresce ulteriormente l’impressione di ingenua fiducia suggerita da colui che parla.


This way the poem reveals its true character of investigation – carried out through the symbols of the child and the lamb – into the condition of innocence, in which even the deepest and timeless questions of human beings seem to have easy responses.

In questo modo, la poesia rivela il suo vero carattere di indagine – condotta tramite i simboli del bambino e dell’agnello – sulla condizione dell’innocenza, condizione nella quale persino le domande più profonde e senza tempo degli esseri umani sembrano avere risposte semplici.


And precisely in this confidence facing the most complex topics of human condition, consists, in its accomplished formulation, the perspective of “Innocence” in the poem The Lamb.

Ed esattamente in questo senso di fiducia nell’affrontare i temi più complessi della condizione umana, consiste, nella sua compiuta formulazione, la prospettiva “dell’Innocenza” nella poesia The Lamb.


In the matter of language and figure of speech, Blake achieves the childlike voice in the poem through the cumulative effect of:

– repeating words associated with gentleness: ‘little’, ‘mead’, ‘delight’, ‘softest’, ‘woolly’, ‘tender’, ‘meek’, ‘mild’.

– preponderance of L and M sounds, that reinforces the flowing, soft implications of the language.

– presence of refrain with repetition of the apostrophe to the “Lamb” within;

– paratactic syntax with few subordinate.

Sul piano del linguaggio e delle figure retoriche, Blake ottiene il tono “infantile” della poesia dall’effetto combinato di:

– la ripetizione delle parole associate alla sfera semantica della “dolcezza”: ‘mead’, ‘delight’, ‘softest’, ‘woolly’, ‘tender’, ‘meek’, ‘mild’;

– la preponderanza dei suoni L ed M, che intensifica le fluide, morbide suggestioni del linguaggio;

– la presenza del ritornello, con la ripetizione, al suo interno, dell’apostrofe “Little Lamb”;

– la sintassi paratattica, con poche subordinate.