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Selected Poems

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A major new translation of one of Italy's greatest modern poets

Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) was a pioneer of the Modernist movement in Italian poetry and is widely regarded as one of the leading Italian poets of the twentieth century. His verse is renowned and loved for its powerful insight and emotion, and its exquisite music. Yet, unlike many of his peers, Ungaretti ha
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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metaphor
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[…] you can grasp nothing
But crumbs of memory.
*
It is hope that wears out hope.
*
Between this star and that one
Night shuts itself away
In a measureless whirling void,

From this star-like solitude
To that star-like solitude.
Shannon
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I really loved this book! Ungaretti is absolutely amazing and I completely fell in love with his poetry. This book is now dog-eared, marked up, and very much loved. This is a very special book to me and I'm already thinking about rereading it. Beautiful poetry that pulls you in from the very first page and I highly recommend it to all!
Abbi Dion
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Veglia" changed my life.
Nathan
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve seen Giuseppe Ungaretti regularly on lists of canonical poets of the modern era, but I didn’t know what to expect from him. I have a passing interest in the hermetic tradition, so my curiosity was piqued when the introductory essay in the volume of his selected works identified him as a founder of the hermetic school in Italy, and I did a little companion research as I read the poetry. Among the hermetic poets, Salvatore Quasimodo is the only one I had previously encountered (and just last ...more
Shari
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was overwhelmed by the poetry of Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970). It is spare, precise, and speaks to the eternal in an evocative voice. Born in Alexandria, Egypt while his father was working on the Suez Canal, and growing up there after his father's death while his mother ran their bakery, he moved to Europe for his higher education, was an ordinary soldier during the Great War, and was a part of the early-20th century artistic and intellectual community in Paris that boasted Picasso, Modiglia ...more
Tom
Sep 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I prefer Frisardi's translation to Mandelbaum's (which I believe is out of print). Whether more accurate, I don't know, but M's version seems stiff, more literal than F's version. Frisardi includes a few poems M. doesn't, and vice versa.

Ungaretti is a very spare poet most of the time, and a mood of solitude bordering on despair prevails in the earlier poems, from his time in the Italian army in WWI. These are also shorter poems than his later works, which, as they grow longer, seem to lose some
...more
Andy
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Know that I haven't read a lot of poetry. I was torn between thinking Ungaretti's delicate, mysterious poems were refined and beautiful, and thinking they were affected and needlessly vague. I think they were a little of each. The war poems, and the more personal of the later poems, are the most accessible and I think most successful - the later work has been "classicized" in way that seemed artificial and tedious to me. But much of the imagery, as it floats by, is still distinctive and lovely.
Johann
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letteratura, poesie
Being one of the founding figures of 20th century Italian poetry, Ungaretti's poems briefly offered the feeling those whose life would be well associated with war, death, nothingness and other theme of the 20th century. And this translation is definitely an authorized one
Francesco Scherillo
Monumental
Patricia
May 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy, poetry
The short, haiku-like poems on evenings are evocative and imaginative. I also especially liked "Pieta," with its arresting opening line, and the poems about loss were moving.
Carly Milne
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Veglia" changed my life.
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Giuseppe Ungaretti was an Italian modernist poet, journalist, essayist, critic and academic. A leading representative of the experimental trend known as ermetismo, he was one of the most prominent contributors to 20th century Italian literature. Influenced by symbolism, he was briefly aligned with futurism. Like many futurists, he took an irredentist position during World War I. Ungaretti debuted ...more
More about Giuseppe Ungaretti...

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“With my wolf's hunger
I haul my lamb's body
down like a sail

I am like
the wretched boat
and the lascivious sea”
9 likes
“Let me be
like
a thing
left
in a
corner

and forgotten”
7 likes
More quotes…