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Comments about the soundtrack for Hannibal (Hans Zimmer)

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Re: Vide Cor Meum translation?
• Posted by: Jeanette   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Friday, April 13, 2001, at 12:24 p.m.
• IP Address: cache-engine.ess.niu.edu
• In Response to: Vide Cor Meum translation? (KT)

> Does anybody out there speak Italian who could translate this
> mini-operetta for me? My boyfriend is in love with this song and would
> like to use it when/if we get married... but I've read about how it has to
> do with eating a heart and I'm not sure it's quite wedding material. It
> sounds beautiful, I just want to be sure of the meaning. I never read
> Dante's work in school, so I'm not familiar with it. Please contact me if
> you can help. thanks in advance

There are many translations to Dante's first sonnet of La Vita Nuova, from which the libretto of the opera aria is based. I will stick with the one Thomas Harris uses in his book. Ten of the fourteen lines are:

"The first three hours of night were almost spent

The time that every star shines down on us

When Love appeared to me so suddenly

That I still shudder at the memory.

Joyous Love seemed to me, the while he held

My heart within his hands, and in his arms

My lady lay asleep wrapped in a veil.

He woke her then and trembling and obedient

She ate that burning heart out of his hand;

Weeping I saw him then depart from me."
Harris takes this translation from Mark Musa, 1962, Indiana University Press.

Dante wrote this sonnet as a result of a dream he had of a lady he was in love/infatuated with. My interpretation is that the very act of "eating" someone's heart is in large part the possession of it. On one level, it's much like someone "taking" your heart.

Revisit the discussion of the "burning heart" with your boyfriend to determine his interpretation. It may be very revealing of his feelings for you.

I leave you with Hannibal's words to Allegra--sort of food for thought.

"Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for her and find

nourishment on the very sight of her? I think so."

Good luck!




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