Pioggia – Rain: An Italian Poem with an MP3 Recording

Pioggia is an Italian poem about rain by Giovanni Pascoli (1855 – 1912). Below you can listen to a recording, follow along in the original Italian and then read an English translation of the poem.

First a note about the illustration, in English we say “It’s raining cats and dogs” when it’s raining very hard. Hence the drawing of cats and dogs falling from a rain cloud. In Italian they say, “Water (will fall) from wash-basins.”

Drawing of Raining Cats and Dogs

Listen to an MP3 Recording of Pioggia


Cantava al buio d’aia in aia il gallo.
E gracidò nel bosco la cornacchia:
il sole si mostrava a finestrelle.
Il sol dorò la nebbia della macchia,
poi si nascose; e piovve a catinelle.
Poi tra il cantare delle raganelle
guizzò sui campi un raggio lungo e giallo.

Stupìano i rondinotti dell’estate
di quel sottile scendere di spille:
era un brusìo con languide sorsate
e chiazze larghe e picchi a mille a mille;
poi singhiozzi, e gocciar rado di stille:
di stille d’oro in coppe di cristallo.

English Translation:


The rooster was singing from barnyard to barnyard in the dark
And the carrion crow croaked in the woods:
The sun was sticking its nose (between the clouds)*
The sun gilded the mist in the brushwood,
Then it hid itself, and it rained cats and dogs.
Then, amid the singing of the frogs,
It flashed on the fields a long and yellow ray.

Young summer swallows were amazed
At that light descent of pins:
It was a buzz of languid downpours
And wide splashes and a lot of pattering drops;
Then in fits and starts, and a sparse trickling of drops:
Drops of gold in crystal goblets.

*Gian Carlos wrote, “An old Italian proverb says: ‘sole a finestrelle acqua a catinelle’. ‘Finestrelle’ are the ‘little windows’ between any two clouds. In Italian the whole expression is, as in many proverbs, elliptical. A possible translation would be something like:

(When) the sun (shows) through little windows (between the clouds)
Water (will fall) from wash-basins.

Translated by Gian Carlo Macchi, Lisa Yannucci and Monique Palomares.

Thanks so much Gian Carlo for your help!

Mama Lisa

Image: Lila and Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 11:56 am and is filed under Arts and Crafts, Countries & Cultures, Giovanni Pascoli, Illustrations, Italian, Italian Poems, Italy, Kids Drawings, Languages, Mama Lisa, Multilingual Poetry, Poetry, Poetry about the Weather, Poets, Rain, Recordings, Recordings of Poems, Seasonal, Weather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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