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Poem Strip

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  446 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
A New York Review Books Original

There’s a certain street—via Saterna—in the middle of Milan that just doesn’t show up on maps of the city. Orfi, a wildly successful young singer, lives there, and it’s there that one night he sees his gorgeous girlfriend Eura disappear, “like a spirit,” through a little door in the high wall that surrounds a mysterious mansion across the wa
Paperback, 218 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by NYRB Classics (first published January 1st 1969)
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(showing 1-30 of 902)
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Ma le stelle le avete? ...e il vento? la tempesta? e la notte?... e l'amore?
Strana questa opera, ad una prima impressione: un (non) poema che è anche fumetto e un (non) fumetto che è quasi poema…
Non è poema: i suoi non sono versi veri e propri, eppure vi si avverte spesso una poesia di sentimenti; non ha il grande respiro, ma accenni di sospiri in poche parole.
Non è un fumetto vero e proprio: il ‘linguaggio’ non ne ha tutte le caratteristiche, eppure le immagini sanno esprimersi con sorprenden
Aug 01, 2011 Penelope rated it did not like it
Ehhh I didn't care for this much. At some points it was poetic and some of the illustrations were really gorgeous. At other times I felt like I was just reading a badly written mythological adaptation, the purpose of which seemed to be the objectification of women and the dehumanization of female sexuality. Ew. Maybe I was reading into it too much. But am I the only one who noticed that when the jacket was naming off women to Orfi, that the black woman was not given a name (pg 95)? All the other ...more
Eddie Watkins
Sep 29, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga-comics
Modern urban metaphysical mystery (with erotical gothic horror touches) grooving on an Orpheus & Eurydice in 1960's Milan that's a breezy though serious exploration of death's endless boredom and the give and take of meaning between it and anguished life and its exquisite suffering, and of sex and the gorgeous dangers it poses, and of love and its power to save banality by impregnating it with labyrinthine mystery. Beauty survives but the sadness remains.
Jan 07, 2010 Trin rated it liked it
Very ’60s, very Italian retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Very ’60s. If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies had come out 40-50 years ago, I could easily see someone in a marketing department somewhere deciding to call this work Orpheus and Eurydice and Boobs in an attempt to stay on trend.

It’s kind of fun, though, and it’s a neat example of a graphic novel before there were “graphic novels.” For example, there are large blocks of text, and there are pictures (mostly of boobs), but the t
Oct 22, 2009 Tessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, fictive, pomes
I just just read this at lunch. So. Good. Poem-y and story-y and tangible and abstract and funny and delicate and old and new all at once.

In Milan there is a house behind a big guarded wall on the Via Saturna. Orfi, the son of an old but no longer rich family, sees his girlfriend, Eura, enter a small door in the wall one night. She's dead. He has to get her back. Familiar? You won't find a stale part of this pastel hell.

I was going to quote some but it's not the same w/o the illustrations.
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Jan 20, 2010 Adrianne Mathiowetz rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful books I've read in a long time. I put it down, only to pick it back up again and reread some of these pages. I want them enlarged and framed, hung on the walls I pass by most often. I want them tattooed backwards on my forehead. I want to think about them every single freaking day. For serious.

More later.
Oct 24, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveandvitriol
I adore Dino Buzzati. While nothing will ever top Il deserto dei Tartari, Poema a Fumetti is certainly a breathtaking little book. Some of Buzzati's illustrations rival anything produced by Chirico/Delvaux.
Artur Coelho
Feb 17, 2015 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma banda desenhada obscura, tida como uma das precursoras da moderna graphic novel como o romance gráfico que é. Está fora dos cânones estabelecidos e longe quer do mainstream do fumetti quer da BD de autor italiana. É, na sua essência, um hino à mulher, ao amor, ao desespero da solidão e à resignação perante forças inquebráveis do destino. A narrativa oscila entre a poesia onírica e a referência à mitologia clássica, com momentos de amargura existencial e mal estar do ser perante o mundo e do ...more
No Books
Hugo Pratt, Una ballata del mare salato (1967)
Dino Buzzati, Poema a fumetti (1969)

Una cosa è certa: la graphic novel è un'invenzione italiana.
Quest'opera, in particolare, ha tutte le carte in regola per rientrare nella categoria: concept, unità della visione, maturità. Buzzati, che ha 63 anni quando pubblica il Poema, si era già cimentato con la narrativa illustrata: ad es. in La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia, che però nelle sue bibliografie viene definito 'libro per ragazzi illustra
Dec 01, 2009 Ademption rated it really liked it
First off, the text isn't important. Orfi is a rockstar who goes to the underworld for his love, Eura. The plot clearly isn't important either; it's an acid and titties retelling of the Orpheus & Eurydice myth. Some (ok, most) of Orfi's songs are embarrassingly bad; however, each page looks like a 60s poster, lovingly created while blissed out on LSD. For no reason, Hades is a talking jacket. What Buzzati covers well is the exquisite pain of being alive, having to prosaically overcome ceasel ...more
Chad Felix
Jun 23, 2015 Chad Felix rated it liked it
This feels like an all boy liberal arts college cult classic; the one comic the Eliot acolytes like, or "dig." Songwriter Orfi watches as Eura, his lover, passes, "like a spirit," through a door on via Saterna. Naturally, Buzzati's singing Dante passes into the underworld to find her. Here he sings various songs about the living, about life above, for the dead, who come out en masse, with the ultimate hope of being allowed, in exchange, to return to a Milan of the living with Eura in tow. Buzzat ...more
Tyler Jones
Oct 09, 2015 Tyler Jones rated it really liked it
What a wonderful and fascinating writer Dino Buzzati was. His masterpiece, The Tartar Steppe, is a kafkaesque tale widely judged to be among the best European novels of the Twentieth Century. His short stories will remind you of Donoso and Calvino and he also wrote a charmingly strange children's book, The Bear's Famous Invasion of Sicily.

In his late sixtes he wrote a graphic novel, Poem Strip, decades before the graphic novel would come to be seen as a legitimate form of literature. The experim
Mar 01, 2016 Ouden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ho acquistato questo "libro" pieno di aspettative, ma mi sono ritrovato in mano qualcosa che le superava tutte. Non saprei dire cosa sia esattamente poema a fumetti, perché è privo delle canoniche nuvolette e le immagini a volte supportano il testo, altre volte lo spiegano, in una commistione geniale e visivamente intrigante. Un'opera innovativa e coraggiosa, specie per un autore ultrasessantenne, che stupisce ad ogni tavola. Il rapporto tra la vita e la morte, caro all'autore, viene esaminato t ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I don't think that I've ever read a 20th century Italian surrealist graphic novel before. This was a pretty great introduction to the genre. I can really see the influences of filmmakers like Fellini and artists like Dali on Buzzati.
Jul 28, 2015 Bbrown rated it really liked it
Poem Strip serves as proof of Buzzati's range as not just an author, but as a creator in general. He can write phenomenally and he's not too shabby as an artist either, not to mention he's capable of reimagining classic stories in new and interesting ways.

Buzzati gives us a punk rock comic strip take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, where our rock star main character descends into an underworld that's more lascivious than the underworld of old, perhaps, and where the challenges he faces are of
míol mór
Hugo Pratt, Una ballata del mare salato (1967)
Dino Buzzati, Poema a fumetti (1969)

Una cosa certa: la graphic novel un'invenzione italiana.
Quest'opera, in particolare, ha tutte le carte in regola per rientrare nella categoria: concept, unit della visione, maturit. Buzzati, che ha 63 anni quando pubblica il Poema, si era gi cimentato con la narrativa illustrata: ad es. in La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia, che per nelle sue bibliografie viene definito 'libro per ragazzi illustrato'. P
zaCk S
Apr 04, 2012 zaCk S rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
ordinarily, when i give a 1-star review, i give the book a pass and realize that it might not be bad, it's just, "not for me." but there are always exceptions. now, i hate to say anything negative about a book ever (unless it's non-fiction, and is guilty of bad reporting). i believe that the act of completing a work of fiction is a commendable feat and should be congratulated. and i feel the same in this instance. i DO however, think this is a bad book.

of course, this was originally published i
Alex V.
Nov 24, 2012 Alex V. rated it really liked it
There are many that might say a Cinemax-porn, rock star laden, Italian, book-length, psychedelic comic book from 1969 is not their thing. Or they might think it is their thing and then they see it's a thin reselling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the one where the egocentric singer gets to visit the land of the dead to retrieve his lover and they botch the escape from hell at the gate to the living world, and that kills it for them. You might offer that it's a European pop star, but no one li ...more
Gonçalo Serra
Oct 11, 2011 Gonçalo Serra rated it liked it
É difícil qualificar Buzzati: no horizonte há sempre um exército de tártaros à espreita e os contos são já um cânone da literatura. Este livro que procurava há algum tempo(sem esforço de concretização, confesso) e que sequestrei da Fnac valeu um momento de regresso à mitologia de Orfeu e Eurídice, essa leitura que me valeu horas de fascínio na adolescência. Este romance gráfico, com desenhos do autor, tem a habilidade de fazer converter erotismo e rock n'roll, numa balada triste e negra. Milão " ...more
May 19, 2010 Jimmy rated it it was ok
I agree with one of my GR friend's review who said "Adolescent. And not in a good way". It's got redeeming qualities though. Some of the artwork is really good, though it never has the subtlety and the attention to detail that he paid to his other, children's book The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily. In fact, the graphical vibe is very different: it is bold, energetic, random, and erotic. Its weak point is definitely the writing, though. The language is just so cliche and uninteresting (and yes ...more
May 24, 2014 Koonu rated it it was amazing
"Do you remember the night
The two of them kissed
And you were alone?
Chopin descended from God's garret
And it was a permanent blow
Suddenly you were grown up and unhappy"

Haunting portraits equal parts surreal and sensual that compliment an affecting text. I am filled with immense melancholy and nostalgia whenever I gaze at this book.
Lewis Manalo
Jan 20, 2010 Lewis Manalo rated it really liked it
A tone of adolescent immaturity permeates this book. Which makes it awesome!

Rock and roll is already childish. Comic books? Of course. Now make it an Italian, psychedelic rock and roll comic book, and you have a formula for awesomeness that rivals your old, pit-stained Dukes of Hazzard tee shirt.

Rock star Orfi follows his dead lover though a gate to Hades (in Milan, naturally) and is immediately beset on all sides by writhing, naked women! There's enough nudity here that you don't want to read t
Laura Jelenkovich
"Ti ricordi la sera che i due si baciavano e tu,solo? Chopin discese dalle mansarde di Dio, ti colpì per sempre alla nuca facendoti grande e infelice." Poema a fumetti è un vero capolavoro, i disegni richiamano il surrealismo di Dali e le grandi prospettive di De Chirico. Il testo è in parte in rima, con punte di genialità come quando mette solo le abbreviazioni e la nostra mente non legge avv, ma avvocato, che fa rima con impiccato. Il tema della morte è tra i più cari a Buzzati, così come l'at ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: romantic adventurers and reptiles too
Porno retelling of Orpheus & Eurydice story as a comic book. In the afterlife the female form is stripped bare and contorted distorted a thousand ways to suit the hero's fancy. Better than an endless game of backgammon with Jesus, I suppose, and good proof that Muslims don't have a monopoly on heaven as an eternal episode of Girls Gone Wild.

The pictures elaborate an uneasy truce between sensuality and decay, a morse code where the traditional dots and dashes have been replaced by the animal
Nellie Airoldi
E' difficile parlare di quest'opera così onirica e decisamente fuori dal comune. Un Orfeo e una Euridice del '69, un Orfeo che canta la morte e la vita e cerca di renderci partecipi del dolore. E dico cerco perché questo poema non è proprio riuscito a toccarmi nel profondo così come la grafica che, forse un po' troppo grossolana per i miei gusti personali, non è riuscita a colpirmi con i suoi colori fluo e le linee infinite che compongono le ombre, quasi fossero uno sfogo di Buzzati sulla carta ...more
Aug 26, 2010 Meg rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
So, it's a 1960s trippy, creepy, highly sexual version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. And it's a comic book. By the guy who did The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily.


It sounds horrible, but I still liked it. The songs that Orfi plays for the dead to remind them of life are sufficiently strange, and so is the art. It's an unusual but still very simple story.

I struggled a little give it four stars because there are just so many, many boobs. Seriously. Total number of pages: 218. Total nu
Susan Rose
This is an english translation of the italian graphic novel Poem Strip. I wasn't sure what this would be like when I picked it up, a mixture of poetry and graphic novel for a fan of both of those mediums seemed a really good idea.

But what I wasn't prepared for this books surrealism in both its artwork and its narratives on life after death. Some of the pages of this book are just so beautiful I immediatly wanted posters of a few of them, (pictured above). All in all if you enjoy surrealist artw
Mar 06, 2014 Zioluc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fumetto, poesia
Idea apprezzabile (rivisitazione del mito di orfeo e euridice), realizzazione fiacca. Non è un vero fumetto, ma un semplice racconto illustrato... roba da ripescaggio negli archivi. Onore al grande Buzzati comunque per lo spirito sperimentatore che mi colpisce sempre.
Nov 11, 2011 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Dino Buzzati's Poem Strip is great stuff; a distinctly psychedelic re-telling of the myth of Orpheus which explores some unique angels that (to my knowledge) were not part of the original legend. The artwork is simple and occasionally amateurish, but appropriate nonetheless to the trippy tale that Buzzati is weaving. Even in translation from the original Italian, the poetry is rich, fluid and highly complementary to the drawings on each page. Buzzati loves devils, buxom women, and general surrea ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Judson rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel, created at the dawn of the form in 1969, is a darkly psychedelic update of the Orpheus myth, and is an assaultive thrill to read and look at, as though the familiar tale were being told by a chorus featuring Alan Moore, Federico Fellini, Nick Drake, Tim Burton, and Bob Guccione, each at the top of his game. Will surely re-read, if only to more permanently sear several of its weirdest warped and macabre images into the back of my braincase.

I read most of it while listening to
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Dino Buzzati Traverso was an Italian novelist, short story writer, painter and poet, as well as a journalist for Corriere della Sera. His worldwide fame is mostly due to his novel Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into English as The Tartar Steppe.
More about Dino Buzzati...

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