I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of a word a day.
Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia . . .
The next new word in the text is ‘gentili‘.
My dictionary gives this as:
gentili (agg. pl.) = kind, courteous, polite
This is the plural of the word gentile = kind, courteous, polite
Here is an example:
la sua famiglia sono sempre così gentili con me
his family are always so kind to me
The story so far
Storia di una capinera
Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili.
Story of a blackcap
I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: it was timid, sad, sickly it watched us with terrified eye; taking shelter in a corner of its cage, and when it heard the joyful song of the other small birds that were singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, she followed them with a gaze that one would have been able to say to oneself, full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her imprisoned, the poor prisoner. Yet her gaolers loved her, dear children that amused themselves with her suffering and paid her for her sadness with crumbs of bread and with kind words.
a ‘worked on‘ alternative:
I have seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, cowering in a corner of her cage, she watched us with terrified eyes and on hearing the cheerful sound of the other small birds singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, she followed it with an expression that one could be persuaded was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her gaolers loved her, dear children that amused themselves with her suffering and paid her for her sadness with breadcrumbs and with kind words.
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