Language   

The Unknown Citizen

W.H. Auden
Back to the song page with all the versions


OriginalTraduzione italiana trovata qui‎
THE UNKNOWN CITIZENTHE UNKNOWN CITIZEN
(To JS/07 M 378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.

Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
‎(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.

The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.

He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.

Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.‎
IL CITTADINO IGNOTO

A Js/07/M/378 Lo Stato Dedica Questo Monumento Marmoreo

L'Ufficio Statistico attesta
che mai fu fatta contro di lui querela,
e rapporto sulla sua condotta non si dà
che non lo giudichi un santo nel senso moderno di un termine antiquato,
perchè in ogni atto egli servì la Comunità.‎

A parte il periodo della Guerra, finchè andò in pensione
lavorò in una fabbrica e mai fu licenziato,
ma piaceva ai padroni, Fudge Motors Inc.
Eppure non era un crumiro nè aveva idee bizzarre,
perchè il Sindacato attesta che pagava le sue quote
‎(e ci è attestato che il Sindacato non mente)
e i nostri Assistenti Sociali hanno rilevato
che era popolare tra i suoi compagni e non disdegnava un bicchiere.‎

La Stampa è convinta che comprasse ogni giorno un quotidiano
e che non reagisse alla pubblicità in modo strano.
Le polizze a suo nome mostrano che era assicurato a vita,
e il suo Libretto Sanitario prova che andò in ospedale una volta ma ne uscì guarito.
Le varie Ricerche di Mercato dichiarano
che sapeva usufruire dei Piani Rateali
e che aveva tutto quanto occorre all'Uomo Moderno,
un grammofono, una radio, un'auto e un frigo.
I vari Sondaggi d'Opinione rilevano soddisfatti
che aveva l'opinione giusta al momento giusto;
quando c'era la pace, voleva la pace; quando c'era la guerra, partiva.‎

Era sposato e accrebbe di cinque figli la popolazione,
numero perfetto secondo il nostro Eugenista per un padre della sua generazione,
e i nostri insegnanti riportano che non ostacolò mai i loro programmi.

Era libero? Felice? Che domande assurde:
se qualcosa non avesse funzionato, di certo ne saremmo informati.‎


Back to the song page with all the versions

Main Page

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.




hosted by inventati.org