Giuseppe Ungaretti


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Ungaretti, Giuseppe

 

Born Feb. 10, 1888, in Alexandria, Egypt; died June 1, 1970, in Milan. Italian poet.

Ungaretti studied in Paris for a short period beginning in 1912 and became friends with G. Apollinaire, P. Valéry, and the Italian futurists. From 1915 to 1918, Ungaretti fought in World War I. His work first appeared in 1915; in 1916 he published the collection The Buried Port, which became the core of the collection The Merriment of Shipwrecks (1919). Ungaretti published an expanded version of this second collection in 1931 and 1936 under the title of Merriment.

The principal themes of Ungaretti’s work are loneliness, the tragic quality of life, and man’s need for human contact. His poetry is characterized by laconic phrasing, a rejection of rhyme, the association of images, and great simplicity of language. Ungaretti was one of the founders of the hermetic school of poetry. During the 1930’s, the pessimistic motifs in his verse came to the fore in the collection A Feeling of Time (1933). In the cycle Occupied Rome (1943–44), the poet voiced the feelings of the entire people in poems such as “Stop Killing the Dead,” which is dedicated to the heroes of the resistance movement. The collection Sorrow (1947) reflected a crisis in Ungaretti’s poetry. Elements of “unpoetic reality” appeared in his late poems.

Ungaretti became chairman of the European Community of Writers in 1962.

WORKS

Vita d’un uomo: Tutte le poesie. [Milan-Verona, 1969.]
In Russian translation:
[“Stikhi.”] In Iz Ital’ianskikh poetov. Foreword by A. Surkov. Moscow, 1958.
[“Stikhi.”] In Ital’ianskaia lirika: XX vek. Foreword by A. Surkov. Moscow, 1958.

REFERENCES

Potapova, Z. M. “Soprotivlenie i sud’by ital’ianskoi literatury.” In Literatura antifashistskogo Soprotivleniia v stranakh Evropy, 1939–1945. Moscow, 1972.
Portinari, F. G. Ungaretti. Turin [1967]. (Contains bibliography.)
Piccioni, L. Vita di un poeta G. Ungaretti [Milan, 1970.]

Z. M. POTAPOVA

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Despite its images of slaughter and manslaughter, the death scene is rendered beautifully, as if to echo and intensify the sublimely mournful verses of Giuseppe Ungaretti (written after the death of his nine-year-old son) that serve as framing mottos for each short chapter of the novella.
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The article is, by no chance, contemporaneous with two other studies, which are closely related to it: Contini, Saggio d'un commento alle correzioni del Petrarca volgare 1943 (however, the date on the essay is 1941); and Ungaretti, "Il poeta dell' oblio," now in Giuseppe Ungaretti, Vita d'un uomo.
Includes Eugenio Montale, Davide Rondoni, Patrizia Cavalli, Damiano Abeni, Valerio Magrelli, Eugenio De Signoribus, Giampiero Neri, Edoardo Sanguineti, Marco de Gemmis, Lalla Romano, Vivian Lamarque, Antonella Anedda, Guido Cavalcanti, Giovanni Pascoli, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Sergio Solmi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Dario Bellezza, Giorgio Roberti, Luciano Cecchinel, Caterina Davinio, Tiziano Broggiato, Michele Pierri, Maria Attanasia, Gabriele Frasca, Guido Gozzano, Germana Santangelo, and Rosita Copioli.
After kicking around the province of Lucca in his youth, as a mechanic, farmer, marble cutter, and dockworker, in 1896 Pea set off for Alexandria, where he frequented anarchist circles, befriended the poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, and became an importer of Italian marble and maker of furniture (Pound, himself a carpenter a ses heures, would later describe Pea's prose thus: He "writes like a man who could make a good piece of mahogany furniture").
I find on this list the great names of contemporary literature, starting with Giuseppe Ungaretti.
The comments that follow combine personal impressions, speculative thoughts about the issues treated by Leopardi, some general comments on the present state of poetry, and a few inspired but perhaps slightly eclectic references to cultural landmarks, such as Italo Calvino, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Larry King.
Whitman, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Yannos Ritsos, and Constantine Cavafy.
The figures of Dido and Africa feature prominently in the autobiography and poetic itineraries of Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970).
Giuseppe Ungaretti, primo autore analizzato da De Marco, possiede infatti uno "sguardo archeologico", di chi guarda il mondo che lo circonda come un cimitero di segni o un palinsesto che occorre raschiare per scoprire, negli strati sottostanti, i significati che il tempo vi ha depositato.