The Italian film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini was first and always a poet—the most important civil poet, according to Alberto Moravia, in Italy in the second half of this century. His poems were at once deeply personal and passionately engaged in the political turmoil of his country. In 1949, after his homosexuality led the Italian Communist Party to expel him on charges of “moral and political unworthiness,” Pasolini fled to Rome. This selection of poems from his early impoverished days on the outskirts of Rome to his last (with a backward longing glance at his native Frill) is at the center of his poetic and filmic vision of modern Italian life as an Inferno.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in 1922 in Bologna. In addition to the films for which he is world famous, he wrote novels, poetry, and social and cultural criticism. He was murdered in 1975.