Belli, Giuseppe Gioacchino

Belli, Giuseppe Gioacchino

Belli, Giuseppe Gioacchino (jo͞ozĕpˈpā jōäk-kēˈnō bĕlˈlē), 1791–1863, Italian poet. Born in Rome into poverty, Belli earned his living as a government clerk. He drew from his knowledge of plebeian life in writing more than two thousand humorous and satirical sonnets. Belli described the vast panorama of Roman society in colorful dialect. His poetry is noted for its vigorous realism. Little known outside Rome, Belli's work was not published during his lifetime.
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Belli, Giuseppe Gioacchino


Born Sept. 7, 1791, in Rome; died there on Dec. 21, 1863. Italian poet.

Belli’s principal work is his Roman Sonnets (published posthumously, 1886–89), a poetic cycle consisting of 2,000 sonnets in the Roman dialect. It was his intention that they should be a “monument to the simple people of Rome.” Written from the point of view of the common people, the sonnets are permeated with hatred for the clergy and corrupt judges, scorn for the upper classes, and respect for poor workers. N. V. Gogol called Belli a genuine people’s poet. Belli also wrote love lyrics and poems of a religious character after the Revolution of 1848–49.


Sonetti romaneschi . . . Sonetti ordinati . . . , vols. 1–2. Rome, [1944–45].


Gorlenko, V. “Gogol’ i inostrantsy: Poet otkrytyi Gogolem.” In Otbleski, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1908.
Storia della letteratura italiana, vol. 7. Milan, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.