Roger DeBlanck's Reviews > Collected Poems, 1920-1954

Collected Poems, 1920-1954 by Eugenio Montale
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Jan 27, 12

bookshelves: poetry-books

Montale has stated, “I always begin with the real, I’m capable of inventing anything.” His Collected Poems demonstrate his obsession to sacrifice himself in his language, which is in constant search for meaning in the elusiveness of life. His work follows in the line of the revered Italian tradition of Dante and Petrarch. He attempts to free himself from the world’s existential drama, which he confesses guilt for creating. His work can be seen as an exorcism as he calls on the sea, the sun, the garden, and of course his angelic phantom, a beloved woman who becomes his own personal religion. He looks to her as a revelation that shall rescue him and lead his soul to paradise, a place he is unable to see and which he knows may fail him. Montale’s voice sounds like a solitary, melancholic figure clinging desperately and devotedly to an illusion of this beloved woman. He places his faith and guidance in the poetry addressed to her to save him. The ruined world has solace in her mission. He seeks to unburden his soul from something seemingly impossible to convey. His oeuvre can be read as a narrative leading one on a path where finding faith can also lead to doom. The musicality of his verse evokes memories and remarkable images of the natural world. Montale’s unparalleled abilities as a poet earned him the Nobel Prize in 1975.
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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve I saw this at a used bookstore yesterday, and almost picked it up. I hope it's still there today. Outstanding review on a poet I would of thought impossible to boil down to one paragraph. I've only read a few of his poems, and sensed a mystery I couldn't really define. You just did. Geoffrey Hill seems to like this guy a lot.


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