Rapisardi, Mario

Rapisardi, Mario


Born Feb. 25, 1844, in Catania; died there Jan. 4, 1912. Italian poet.

Rapisardi was a professor of literature in Catania. He wrote the philosophical and historical narrative poem Metempsychosis (1868), which reconciled science and religion. The narrative poem Lucifer (1877), with its anti-Catholic motifs, the philosophic trilogy of narrative poems Job (1884), and the Religious Poems (1887) are permeated with a spirit of doubt that at times tends to question the existence of god.

Rapisardi’s enthusiasm for socialist ideas was reflected in the cycle of poems Justice (1883). His Song of the Coal Miners created an image of the proletariat as the bearer of social retribution. The long allegorical narrative poem Atlantis (1894) combines satire with elements of a social utopia. As a critic, Rapisardi is known for his polemic with G. Carducci concerning Lucifer.


Opere: Edizione delle opere complete, a cura dell’autore. Palermo, 1912.


Carducci, G. “Rapisardiana.” In Opere complete, vol. 24. Bologna, 1937.
Croce, B. “M. Rapisardi.” In his book La letteratura della nuova Italia, vol. 2. Bari, 1968.
Esposito, E. “M. Rapisardi.” In Letteratura italiana: I minori, [vol.] 4. Milan [1969].