I'm confused by this phrase. I understand that stirare means to iron or to stretch, but its use here has baffled me:

"Dormono nel segreto della terra fino a che all'uno o all'altro pigli la fantasia di risvegliarsi. Allora di stira, e sospinge da principio timidamente verso il sole un bellissimo ramoscello inoffensivo."

Any help would be much appreciated.

  • I think it's a bad translation of Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. «Et en effet, sur la planète du petit prince, il y avait comme sur toutes les planètes, de bonnes herbes et de mauvaises herbes. Par conséquent de bonnes graines de bonnes herbes et de mauvaises graines de mauvaises herbes. Mais les graines sont invisibles. Elles dorment dans le secret de la terre jusqu'à ce qu'il prenne fantaisie à l'une d'elles de se réveiller. Alors elle s'étire, et pousse d'abord timidement vers le soleil une ravissante petite brindille inoffensive.»
    – Charo
    Jul 23 '16 at 14:39
  • 3
    It should be "Allora si stira", not "Allora di stira".
    – Charo
    Jul 23 '16 at 14:39
  • The original verb in French is "s'étirer" which corresponds to the Italian "stirarsi" explained by @Josh61.
    – Charo
    Jul 23 '16 at 14:45
  • 1
    Probably a typo: di instead of si. It's not a bad translation: it has no meaning. I'll check on the copy I have.
    – egreg
    Jul 23 '16 at 16:48
  • 2
    Hi all - it's a typing error in the original copy that I have: snag.gy/GnHAji.jpg
    – Scoiattolo
    Jul 24 '16 at 9:44

"Di stira" is probably a typo, the correct expression is "si stira" which refers to stirarsi, to stretch, as when you wake up. (to extend one's muscles or limbs, as after prolonged sitting or on awakening)

  • v.pronom.intr., distendere una parte del corpo per liberarla dal torpore.

(De Mauro)

  • I think it's not unusual at all, the problem is that it's a bad translation that should be "Allora si stira" and not "Allora di stira".
    – Charo
    Jul 23 '16 at 14:48
  • @Charo - I am not sure if it is a translation problem, a typo or a dialectal expression. OP didn't provide a link or any useful reference. "Allora si stira" non mi suona bene come frase nel contesto. –
    – user519
    Jul 23 '16 at 17:01
  • Since it seems to be a typo, maybe you would like to modify a little bit your answer.
    – Charo
    Jul 24 '16 at 10:34

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