Pascoli, Giovanni

Pascoli, Giovanni

(jōvän`nē pä`skōlē), 1855–1912, Italian poet. Pascoli's childhood was marked by a series of tragedies: the deaths of his parents and of five of his brothers and sisters. A radical in his student days at the Univ. of Bologna, he was subdued by imprisonment (1879) for his political activities. After completing his studies he taught classics, succeeding Giosuè Carducci as professor of literature at Bologna in 1905. His tender poetry, written in pastoral style, won him international fame; many verses were inspired by memories of his family. Also seeing his mission as the chronicling of Italy's glory, he wrote of historical and patriotic subjects, earning D'Annunzio's epithet "the last son of Vergil." His works include Carmina (in Latin, 1914); the more mystical Myricae (1891–1903); and the patriotic Odi e inni (1906). Pascoli remains one of Italy's best-loved poets. He was also an essayist of distinction.

Bibliography

See translations of his poems by E. Lunardi and R. Nugent (1981).

Pascoli, Giovanni

 

Born Dec. 31, 1855, in San Mauro, in the region of Romagna; died Apr. 6, 1912, in Bologna. Italian poet.

As a young man, Pascoli was attracted to socialism, but he soon abandoned politics. In 1906 he occupied the chair of Italian literature at the University of Bologna. Such collections as Tamarisks (1891), Songs of Castelvecchio (1903), and First Poems (1904) crystallized Pascoli’s chief traits as an artist: a poeticizing of everyday life, new impressionistic rhythms, a vivid awareness of nature, and direct expression of feeling. Many of his poems appealed for “Christian socialism” and for the brotherhood of man in the face of an impending war. Pascoli’s attempts to retreat from reality into a world of memories often led him to introduce decadent motifs and obscure symbolism into his work. In Songs of King Enzio (1908) and Italian Poems (1911) he celebrated Italian history.

WORKS

Poemi conviviali, 2nd ed. Bologna, 1910.
Poesie. Milan [1940].

REFERENCES

Lunacharskii, A. V. “Dzhovanni Pascoli.” Sobr. soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Croce, B. “Giovanni Pascoli.” In La letteratura italiana, vol. 4. Bari, 1960.
Sozzi, G. G. Pascoli, nella vita, nell’arte e nella storia della critica. Florence, 1967.
Cecchi, E. La poesía di G. Pascoli. [Milan] 1968.
Materiali critici per G. Pascoli. Rome, 1971.

Z. M. POTAPOVA

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