This year, as part of our Archipelago of Poetry theme, one of the overseas poets invited is AnnaCristina Serra who writes in Sardinian, a new language for our festival. Silvana Siviero, who will be interpreting for her, has most kindly provided this introduction to Sardinian, to give an insight to the language in advance of AnnaCristina's reading.
'Sardinian is a Romance language deriving from Latin. The ancient Romans stayed a long time in Sardinia leaving unique and unforgettable traces. But Sardinian also has the memory of the language of other ruling populations such as the Spanish and the Nuragic civilization of which it still treasures a long list of words having an unknown origin, but which probably belong to the most ancient language on earth, the Nuragic language.
'This from a philological point of view. Instead if we speak of its soul, it is the language by which Sardinians have loved, hoped, laughed and cried and still love, hope, laugh and cry. Today the language struggles to express itself completely because it was wounded and amputated by impositions and trammels of the various domineering classes that have tried to submit it, sometimes with the help of those Sardinians who do not realize what richness they possess. But even so, Sardinian is still alive, lately it has abandoned the sphere of emotional relations, of poetry and of tradition becoming a more and more normal language that can express anything, from everyday things to the sublime. Naturally the language remains the primary and founding element of our profound identity, soul and itinerary of our people that knows their history and memory, the emotional link between the People and its Land, revealing day after day what potentialities of growth and development it would have if it were recognized equal dignity with the other languages in the world. No language can ever be inferior to another when it expresses the time that passes between who inhabits it and the heart of who listens to it.'
AnnaCristina Serra will be reading at the Border Crossings event on Sunday 8th March. More details at: http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2015/event.php?event=718