Cecco Angiolieri (c.1260-1312) Chi dice del suo padre—Sonnet 97

"Who merely dreams of scoffing at his dad"

Who merely dreams of scoffing at his dad
should have his tongue ground up for sausage first,
because all seven deadly sins are bad
but filial impiety's the worst.
Were I a priest or even acolyte,
I'd straight off to the pope and set things right:
"Holy Father a crusade on those
who dis their sires has got to be imposed."

"We need an Inquisition," I would say,
"and all the disrespectful bums we get
we'll cook and have them eaten right away—
not by us, which might be deemed excess,
but by our dogs." Lord knows how I regret
those villainies I've clumsily expressed!


translations©2001 Leonard Cottrell

main index for rhymed translations
special Cecco index

Chi dice del suo padre altro, ch'onore,
la lingua gli dovrebbe esser tagliata;
per che son sette le mortal peccata,
ma enfra l'altre quell'è lo maggiore.
S'eo fosse priete o ver frate minore,
al papa fora la mia prima andata;
e direi: - Padre Santo, una crociata
si faccia indosso a chi lor fa disnore.

E s'alcun fosse, per lo su' peccato,
che 'n quel stallo ci veniss'a le mani,
vorrei che fosse cotto e poi mangiato
dagli uomini no, ma da' lupi e cani.
Dio mel perdoni, ch'io n'ho già usato
motti non bei, ma rustichi e villani.


The Albigensian crusade in what is now southern France was proclaimed in 1208 by Innocent III. The Inquisition began to take shape in this context, only a few decades before Cecco lived.