The hilarious fascination of metasemantics

Albinando on the path

In the balance I left:
affurro and magnìfugo without bìgia.
I caught famirri and shook the bumps
to drug every hour of fearless Pedrossi

Nothing was daring to me,
while wiggling the umbelletto.
And I whisper of karst but I forgot alone,
since the ersìa could be put up with

Courses belungo and very bardello,
given that the giusso was never a fello,
to simma simma, as if on all fours,
I arrived desiànte to limit the hostel.

Farbellosi leaps and silts.
Urbi conpiguri and vami.
And folunghi, darts, enough lumps
the vimilumi lapped together

Oh, barillanti galvigni!
Do you act like lorcs, and not robbers?
That you loved taming the large apples,
to give zufulanti the asylums!

I went back to the ribotto.
Avulsed and delusional to dine,
Barillare was not my intent,
but I sought the intervention of stigma and lorco.

(AE, 11/2022)

Among the fruitful branches of culture there are also curious and amusing ones. They represent a pleasant pastime and stimulate the imagination, which in turn is one of the pillars of intelligence. Today I’m talking about the metasemantic, which I personally find a lot of fun and use on a daily basis with family and friends. An expedient to obtain moments of different attention, stimulating wit with the disengagement of seriousness. Well … I bore them.

And I just bored you too with my poem metasemantic, that I wrote on the fly and I proposed above. Did you like it? Have you imagined some scenario / meaning?

They may seem like “supercazzole”, and in fact they have a lot of affinities with them. But metasemantics differs from it because it must be conceived as a lock: the literary device must be able to accommodate a key that opens to some meaning of complete sense. When it happens in a dialogue, and perhaps in a precise context, the key can appear almost immediate.

In an old film with Gene Wilder, whose title I don’t remember, the protagonist he played had a slight aphasia problem that in moments of particular tension caused him to mess with words, forming very hilarious metasemantic sentences. I remember one of him saying to his wife: «Lampa put it out and come to Lucio!». The unmistakable context of the bedroom, with him already lying down and his wife still up in her pajamas, immediately suggested that he meant “Turn off the light and come to bed!”.

Funny, isn’t it?

It is necessary to build a structure in which the words without meaning still take on a familiar sound, managing to anchor themselves to the thread of the speech or to the topic, and thus revealing an underlying meaning. This does not necessarily have to be unique, on the contrary, if you manage to conceive a scheme that can project more interpretative solutions, it becomes even more stimulating and fun.

Although it has more ancient roots, the genesis of metasemantic poetry can be traced back to the anthropologist, writer and poet, Fosco Maraini, father of the writer Dacia. His poetry is particularly well known “Il Lonfo”, published in 1966 in the libretto “Le Fànfole”, and in 1998 in “Gnosi delle fànfole”, a Jazz album edited by Bollani and Altomare. It was made famous by Gigi Proietti, who masterfully interpreted it; while in more recent times, if you do a search on the web, you will also find a funny parody of this poem interpreted by a very sweet girl and her father who amiably makes fun of it.

Photo base: Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

The hilarious fascination of metasemantics