Roger DeBlanck's Reviews > Collected Poems, 1920-1954
Collected Poems, 1920-1954
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, resulting in his 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 helping to create. His work can be seen as an exorcism to aid him in escape from this world, as he calls upon 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 ultimately 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 verses he addresses to her in hopes that she shall 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 Montale’s verse regularly evokes memories and remarkable images of the natural world. He is certainly a poet of unparalleled abilities.
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