The first comprehensive anthology of modern Italian poetry, in a beautiful bilingual edition.
More than a century has passed since F. T. Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto” slammed the door on the nineteenth century and trumpeted the arrival of modernity. Since then, against the backdrop of two world wars and many social upheavals, Italian poets have explored the possibilities of verse in a modern age, creating one of the great bodies of twentieth-century poetry.
Even before Marinetti, poets such as Giovanni Pascoli had begun to clear the weedy rhetoric and withered diction from the once-glorious but by then decadent grounds of Italian poetry. And their winter labors led to an extraordinary spring: Giuseppe Ungaretti’s wartime distillations and Eugenio Montale’s “astringent music”; Umberto Saba’s song of himself and Salvatore Quasimodo’s hermetic involutions. After World War II, new generations―including such marvelously diverse poets as Sandro Penna, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Amelia Rosselli, Vittorio Sereni, and Raffaello Baldini―extended the promise of the prewar era into our time.
Surprising and illuminating, The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry invites the reader to examine the works of these and other poets―seventy-three in all―in conversation with one another. Edited by the poet and translator Geoffrey Brock, these poems have been rendered into English by some of our finest English-language poets, including Charles Wright, Paul Muldoon, and many exciting younger voices.