I nostri cari vecchi fiumi

Bormida nel Tanarodi Luigi Timo

Ho preso lo spunto di questa mia riflessione da due argomenti apparentemente non correlati fra loro, ma che forse hanno qualcosa in comune: l’evoluzione del linguaggio e la conoscenza della storia del territorio.

Il primo aspetto dell’evoluzione del linguaggio me lo ha suggerito nientemeno che Francesco Guccini con quel suo “Nuovo dizionario delle cose perdute” appena uscito in libreria, mentre il secondo aspetto della scarsa conoscenza della storia del nostro territorio mi è stato confermato dopo la pubblicazione del recente numero di febbraio del Ceriolino di Casteceriolo, dove in facciata appariva la confluenza dei nostri due fiumi: il Tanaro e la Bormida, che ironicamente sembravano dialogare fra loro, con il Tanaro che faceva una proposta galante alla Bormida.

Alcune persone, specie giovani del paese, non hanno capito la foto, forse non avendo mai avuto modo di osservare dall’alto la confluenza delle due acque e forse ignorandola completamente anche dal punto di vista geografico, oltre che da quello letterario, con riferimento alla pagina di Alessandro Manzoni nell’ode “Marzo 1821”, dove poeticamente dice: “la Bormida al Tanaro sposa”.

Chi ha una certa età si ricorderà certamente il punto dove i due fiumi si univano e si uniscono ancora come celebrassero matrimonio, vale a dire la confluenza che in dialetto chiamavamo “l’imbucc” (imboccatura). La raggiungevamo a piedi dopo aver guadato la Bormida che, prima di gettarsi in Tanaro, faceva “ravaśśa” cioè una corrente di rapida non più alta di un metro, che poteva essere affrontata in relativa sicurezza, magari dandosi la mano per non perdere l’equilibrio. All’imbucc l’acqua chiara della Bormida si confondeva con quella giallastra del Tanaro e sulla punta di terra che segnava il termine ultimo del Mezzano c’erano delle piante di grosse dimensione, con i rami che si protraevano sulle acque e che servivano egregiamente come trampolino per i tuffi.

Dalla parte della Bormida si poteva intravedere il fondo e qualcuno si lanciava sotto riva nella speranza di catturare qualche anguilla nascosta nelle radici degli alberi, mentre dalla parte del Tanaro l’acqua limacciosa non faceva intravvedere nulla se non i mulinelli della corrente. Qualcuno del paese ricorderà senz’altro quella volta che uno di noi, appena più grande di me, dopo essersi tuffato a pesce, rimase piantato nella nita e rischiò di soffocare. Adesso Gian Franco è andato ad abitare a Castellazzo, ma a quel tempo era un assiduo frequentatore delle sponde dei nostri fiumi, come tanti ragazzi del nostro paese che dall’inizio degli anni cinquanta non avevano altra occasione di frequentare altre spiagge se non quelle della Bormida e del Tanaro.

Penso che non sia giusto che i giovani del nostro paese ignorino completamente come siano fatti i fiumi che ci toccano ed a volte ci condizionano con le loro piene rovinose, non potendoli vedere se non dai ponti che attraversano in macchina frettolosamente guardandoli come fossero alieni, estranei alla loro esistenza. Sarebbe bello organizzare dei percorsi ciclabili, sull’esempio di quello che ha fatto il comune di Pavia sulle sponde del Ticino, ma sappiamo tutti (perché ce lo ripetono tutti i giorni) che ormai Alessandria è completamente nella nita e sarà dura tirarla via prendendola per i piedi come facemmo allora per il nostro amico Gian Franco.

Ritornando al primo aspetto messo in evidenza da Francesco Guccini, mi sono ricordato della piena del Polesine del 1951, quando a Castelceriolo vennero accolti presso alcune famiglie del nostro paese dei ragazzi della mia età sfollati perché avevano perduto la casa ed in alcuni casi anche i genitori nelle zone alluvionate del Polesine fra le province di Rovigo e di Ferrara. Allora si diceva che c’era stata l’alluvione del Polesine perché le acque del Po avevano straripato, cioè avevano rotto le rive e gli argini. Straripamento infatti in italiano significa traboccare sopra le ripe e gli argini.

Quando invece ci fu l’alluvione di Alessandria nel 1994, il sindaco non parlò di alluvione ma di esondazione del Tanaro. Quale la differenza?
Alluvione viene dal latino alluvio (da alluere cioè bagnare) o alluvies (allagamento).
Esondare viene invece dal latino ex unda, cioè acqua che si increspa, come un’onda che straripa da un recipiente. Io avrei detto inondazione (dal latino inundare, cioè tumultuoso ed esteso allagamento, come in effetti fu) e non esondazione. Ma come suggerisce Francesco Guccini, bisogna rispettare le mode, a meno che il sindaco di allora avesse qualcosa di diverso da dimostrare per giustificare l’accaduto.
In fondo il Tanaro esondò, mica straripò dagli argini degli Orti, che sono ancora lì come cento anni fa, quando il quartiere aveva 600 abitanti e c’era il proverbio che diceva che allura j’avu facc na ciuenda ‘d cani per nént ch’ei scapa Tani e po’ Tani l’è scapà e i gavòn is son bagnà mentre adesso ci sono ben 7000 abitanti sotto l’argine. Le licenze edilizie distribuite a ventaglio mica sono state uno sbaglio come vogliono far credere certi menagrami ambientalisti! No, non è stato uno sbaglio!, dicono e spergiurano tutti i sindaci che hanno retto il comune di Alessandria, prima e dopo l’alluvione.

Non mi resta che riportare ciò che ironicamente scrive Guccini, senza farci capire le sottigliezze della lingua e lasciando a noi l’interpretazione:
“Un tempo, i fiumi, i buoni vecchi fiumi, a volte diventavano cattivi e straripavano.
Succedeva che, o per un acquazzone improvviso e violento, o per piogge incessanti di giorni e giorni, le acque si ingrossassero ed il fiume, lutulento e vorticoso, rompeva gli argini e usciva dal suo alveo, provocando allagamenti rovinosi, inondando campi, strade e case, e provocando anche la morte di animali e di uomini. Poi i fiumi hanno smesso di straripare.
Non è che gli acquazzoni improvvisi o le piogge durature non ingrossassero più le acque, o non provocassero rovinose piene; lo facevano ancora. Solo che sui giornali e alla televisione non straripavano più. I fiumi tracimavano.
Oggi, però, anche i fiumi si sono modernizzati. Forse straripavano fino agli anni Cinquanta, dopodiché tracimavano, ma adesso i fiumi si rifiutano di fare queste cose antiche, un poco obsolete.
Oggi, signori miei, i fiumi esondano. Che poi è più o meno la stessa cosa: andar fuori dagli argini, uscire dal proprio alveo, provocando allagamenti rovinosi, inondando campi, strade e case, e provocando anche la morte di animali e di uomini.
Cioè la medesima cosa di quando straripavano.
Ma vuoi mettere l’eleganza del nuovo vocabolo, il verbo esondare?”

(che per la cronaca il correttore automatico di Microsoft Office Word 2007 segnala come parola sconosciuta o errata). Che ignorantone!
Conclusione: signori miei se volete fare bella figura usate parole nuove, magari anche misteriose, che dicono e non dicono, ma che possano avere un effetto sulla gente che vi deve dare il consenso. Poi se andaste a bagno, ricordatevi che ci vuole un po’ di stile anche per quella cosa lì. Non siete mica dei gavón  o di  gnurantón qualunque!

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