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The Canti

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4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  993 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Leopardi's rejection of the Catholicism of his childhood and Enlightenment optimism gives his work a contemporary feel. In J.G. Nichols's translations we grasp the consistent strain of thought in writing, including a biography woven of Leopardi's own words.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 11th 2003 by Routledge (first published 1835)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Debbie Zapata
This poetry collection was a little bit out of the ordinary for me. I usually read poems in fits and starts, savoring them as I go along with other things, and sometimes a collection can take much longer to work through than you would think. And I don't always read about the poet while I am reading the poems, unless I am stumped for any idea of what they are trying to say.

When I was setting this title up on my currently reading shelf I noticed a review which said the poems were very depressing.
...more
Teresa
May 25, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-poesia, n-italia
"O INFINITO

Cara me foi sempre esta erma colina
E esta sebe, que por diversos lados
O extremo do horizonte veda ao meu olhar.
Mas, sentado e olhando, intermináveis
Espaços para além dela, e sobre-humanos
Silêncios, e sossego profundíssimo
No pensamento imagino; então por pouco
O coração se não sobressalta. E, quando o vento
Nas folhas ouço sussurrar, aquele
Infinito silêncio a esta voz
Vou comparando: e lembro-me do eterno,
E das mortas estações, e da que agora passa
E vive, do seu rumor. Assim no meio
Des
...more
Angigames
Dec 21, 2015 Angigames rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Da ragazzina Leopardi è stata una vera e preziosa scoperta. Mentre i compagni di classe si annoiavano, lo sbeffeggiavano, ridevano della sua vita, io dalla prima lettura della prima poesia, l’ho subito sentito dentro, mi ha smosso qualcosa di profondo proprio nel cuore. Ancora adesso le sue poesie mi affascinano, mi commuovono, le sento risuonare nell’anima.
Versi eccelsi, musicali, capaci di evocare immagini di una potenza straordinaria, presi però da una vita quotidiana semplice e dura allo st
...more
Mauberley
If you love poetry, why haven't your read this book?

If you answer that you have never heard of its author (Giacomo Leopardi), after visiting this page, you no longer have that excuse. Once in a very great while we read something that changes our life and this, dear friend, is one of those books. Sincerest congratulations to John Galassi for his wonderful translations and very helpful notes. His suggestion that a newcomer should begin with the idylls is well heeded. However, the bays and laurels
...more
Lorena
Dec 14, 2014 Lorena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Srtange how reading for pleasure changes everything. I hated Leopardi growing up, having to study him in school. I thought of him as a loner, even a looser. I was wrong- he was a smart man, way ahead of his time, who had a magic way with words.
Marie-aimée
Aug 31, 2015 Marie-aimée rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr, poetry
Un magnifique recueil de poésies que j'ai découvert bien trop tard! Leopardi donne une toute autre dimension au "moi" romantique. Les premiers chants sont des odes à l'Italie, où les références à l'histoire antique sont nombreuse (on reconnaît là les passions et études de Leopardi). Ce que j'ai aimé de ce recueil, en plus du de l'évolution, de la véhémence patriotique aux idylles amoureuses, c'est la capacité, ou plutôt le génie de l'auteur a avoir su rendre universel les sentiments de l'amour, ...more
ROC
Sep 02, 2015 ROC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
"
- Catullus

Ornate and often dreamlike, experiencing Canti is like exploring the Hellenistic ruins Leopardi was so fond of: splendorous in youth, now turned barren by time.

Masterfully tuned in both style and evocation, you can see why Nietzsche called Leopardi one of the four finest prose stylists of the 19th century, and indeed one of Italy's greatest poets.

Though known for his pessimism, this wasn't due to pe
...more
Fede
Nov 08, 2014 Fede rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Non credo esistano parole adatte ad esprimere adeguatamente la bellezza di questi componimenti.
Ogni volta che leggo questa raccolta mi lascio trasportare in un universo quasi magico, onirico, da cui è difficile distaccarsi e completamente impossibile non lasciarsi coinvolgere almeno un po'.
Leggere i componimenti di Giacomo Leopardi mi fa sentire viva.
Ayan Scratuglia
Nov 24, 2011 Ayan Scratuglia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"These solitary hills have always been dear to me.
Seated here, this sweet hedge, which blocks the distant horizon opening inner silences and interminable distances.
I plunge in thought to where my heart, frightened, pulls back.
Like the wind which I hear tossing the trembling plants which surround me, a voice from the inner depths of spirit shakes the certitudes of thought.
Eternity breaks through time, past and present intermingle in her image.
In the inner shadows I lose myself,
drowning in the
...more
Natalija
Mar 17, 2016 Natalija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
He likes Italy and dead girls too much.
Carlo
Dec 05, 2014 Carlo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, poetry, italy
Si impara sui libri di scuola che la vita di Leopardi fu infelice. Ma gli studi adolescenziali non sempre riescono a colpire nel profondo e poi, come sempre, è confrontandosi con l’opera di un autore che si riesce a entrare davvero nel suo mondo. Leggendo la produzione poetica dell’uomo di Recanati, racchiusa quasi in toto in questi poco più di trenta canti, si capisce davvero che la vita del conte Giacomo fu difficile, prima confinata nel ‘natio borgo selvaggio’ in cui la sensibilità del poeta ...more
Italo  Perazzoli
Jan 13, 2016 Italo Perazzoli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Song Of Sappho (Leopardi)

Thou tranquil night, and thou, O gentle ray
Of the declining moon; and thou, that o'er
The rock appearest, 'mid the silent grove,
The messenger of day; how dear ye were,
And how delightful to these eyes, while yet
Unknown the furies, and grim Fate! But now,
No gentle sight can soothe this wounded soul.
Then, only, can forgotten joy revive,
When through the air, and o'er the trembling fields
The raging south wind whirls its clouds of dust;
And when the car, the pondrous ca
...more
0
Wild Broom


Fragrant broom,

content with deserts:

here on the arid slope of Vesuvius,

that formidable mountain, the destroyer,

that no other tree or flower adorns,

you scatter your lonely

bushes all around. I’ve seen before

how you beautify empty places

with your stems, circling the City

once the mistress of the world,

and it seems that with their grave,

silent, aspect they bear witness,

reminding the passer-by

of that lost empire.

Now I see you again on this soil,

a lover of sad places abandoned by the world,

a
...more
Nicholas During
Aug 27, 2013 Nicholas During rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish it, can't read Italian, and don't know much about classics Italian poetry. But I will say, that it worth the effort to give these poems a shot. Though I definitely won't have got the structural aspect that I'm sure are quite impressive, nor the allusions to other parts of the Italian canon, the longing for a life not possible comes through, even in translation. These are the poems of reorgimento, both in the early ones when Leopardi longs for the world of Italian glory long gone, a ...more
Pasquale
Jan 06, 2016 Pasquale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pesante e a tratti molto negativo, ma alcuni versi fanno venire la pelle d'oca toccando accuratamente il punto emozionante di cio' che descrivono. Un pezzetto di storia della letteratura italiana.
Ginny_1807
Sep 06, 2012 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A se stesso

Or poserai per sempre,
stanco mio cor. Perì l'inganno estremo,
ch'eterno io mi credei. Perì. Ben sento,
in noi di cari inganni,
non che la speme, il desiderio è spento.
Posa per sempre. Assai
palpitasti. Non val cosa nessuna
i moti tuoi, né di sospiri è degna
la terra. Amaro e noia
la vita, altro mai nulla; e fango è il mondo.
T'acqueta omai. Dispera
l'ultima volta. Al gener nostro il fato
non donò che il morire. Omai disprezza
te, la natura, il brutto
poter che, ascoso, a comun dann
...more
Daniela
Jan 22, 2016 Daniela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un'opera poetica sublime, dove il dolore esistenziale si plasma in bellezza grazie alla dolcezza del canto!
D'artagnan
Jun 05, 2008 D'artagnan rated it really liked it
Oh what a rollicking ride through the emotions and ideas of a very remarkable young man. These poems read more than a little overdramatic, almost Shatneresque, but it's heck of real, hecka hecka. Might never have known of dear Leopardi if it were not for Marquez quoting him in "Memories of My Melancholy Whores". The depth of that quote proved almost boundless as I poured through Leopardi's works, and provided intriguing dimension and context for Marquez's latest little masterpiece. Shit made me ...more
Maurizio Vicedomini
Voto medio e nessuna recensione. Non vogliatemene, ma non ho gli strumenti né le conoscenze per recensire un'opera di poesia.

A puro titolo personale, però, ho rivalutato Leopardi. Non amo la poesia, poiché non riesce a trasmettermi nulla. Sono 4 le poesie che fanno eccezione,e una è l'Infinito i Leopardi. Nel Leggere i Canti ho trovato altri componimenti piacevoli - non belli, secondo il mio gusto - ma almeno piacevoli. Ad esempio La sera del dì di Festa, A se stesso, o l'ultima strofa de La Gi
...more
Alex Kartelias
A friend of the German philosopher Schopenhauer and poet of the romantic period, his verses are filled with anger, distaste, sadness and mortal agony. But his voice sings beautifully- even through an English translation- and it's clear his Muse gave him his gift before he left us at such an early age. Supposedly, Leopardi is unknown to his home country but, if a man with mortal suffering could also have the gusto to show his nationalism for Italy, he deserves to be known by Italians and beyond.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Sep 08, 2011 Lucy Pollard-Gott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Leopardi's poetry is modern in its themes ("the first modern Italian poet") and timeless in its beauty. Galassi's translation is exceedingly graceful and astute. If you know even a little Italian, you can also enjoy the sound and rhythm of Leopardi's deft verse on facing pages. Reading the translation allows one to experience the fine emotional depth he touched in his lyrics. A beautiful edition, highly recommended.
Marc
Gelezen in het Nederland. Zwargalligheid troef
Enkele pareltjes:
XIX aan Graaf Carlo Pepoli: het leven heeft geen zin, maar we proberen het wel te vullen; programmagedicht!
XXV ’s Zaterdags in het dorp: prachtig, ingehouden beschrijving, met weemoedige ondertoon; XXVI de allesoverheersende gedachte,: perfecte ode aan de liefde, als balsem in dit tranendal, veel opgewekter dan alle overige gedichten samen
Alan Hardy
Oct 05, 2012 Alan Hardy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Leopardi's poetry in my late teens/early twenties. I think its themes of alienation, loneliness, doomed love and man's insignificance within the universe (fairly traditional Romantic/Enlightenment themes) were handled and interpreted in such a personal and authentic manner that Leopardi's poetry will speak clearly and movingly to all people at all times.
Nick Moran
Jun 16, 2011 Nick Moran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, FSG! I won a promotional copy this morning and cannot wait to dive in.

EDIT: This translation is serving as a great introduction to Leopardi. Galassi is astute to note the poet's influence on nearly every modern writer of verse, and the translation itself is readable and vivid. I will be returning to this collection periodically.
Ors
Jul 06, 2014 Ors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leggere Leopardi può essere un'esperienza assai sofferente, ma se riesci a vedere la bellezza nel dolore espresso, la luce della Luna sarà sempre a guidare, a nascondere ed a spingere i tuoi desideri e le proprie idee di superazione... anche se tutti moriamo un giorno, ne vale la pena.
Kelsey
Jun 22, 2012 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
So far, I like this book. I'm taking my time with the poems; I like reading one or two and giving myself time to think it over. I'm not fluent in Italian, so I can't say much about the translation or the Italian text.
Frederick
Aug 28, 2009 Frederick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My edition is the 2008 from Oneworld Classics, which not only has the sober and accurate translation by JG Nichols, but also is a dual-language edition with the Italian original on facing pages.
Tish
Mar 26, 2011 Tish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book... I loved the style of poetry. I read this book in between reading another book because I wanted to take my time with the fabulous work of this translation.
Vasco Ribeiro
Edição bilingue, mas só li a parte portuguesa.
Não achei nada de especial, mesmo que me possa referir só ao conteúdo
Darla
Jul 04, 2011 Darla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book! Passed this one onto my daughter, who is at university with Italian as one of her studies.
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177775
Italian scholar, poet, and philosopher, one of the great writers of the 19th century. Leopardi was a contemporary of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, with whom he shared a similar pessimistic view of life. Leopardi's love problems inspired some of his saddest lyrics. In his late years, when he lived on the slopes of Vesuvius, Leopardi meditated upon the possibility of the total destruct ...more
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“Freedom is the dream you dream
While putting thought in chains again --”
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“E tu, cui già dal cominciar degli anni sempre onorata invoco, bella Morte, pietosa tu sola al mondo dei terreni affanni[…] chiudi alla luce omai questi occhi tristi […] nel mio sangue innocente non ricolmar di lode, non benedir, com’usa per antica viltà l’umana gente” 4 likes
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