Umberto Saba

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Saba, Umberto


(real surname Poli). Born Mar. 9, 1883, in Trieste; died Aug. 25, 1957, in Gorizia. Italian poet.

In his first few collections of poems, for example, With My Eyes (1912), Saba developed the traditions of G. Pascoli by subtly evoking nature. Beginning in 1921, Saba’s poems were collected and published as The Songbook (II canzoniere). Subsequent collections were also published under this title.

The depth and power of Saba’s poetic vision are evident in his collections Words (1934) and Last Works (1944). Here the melancholy, contemplative quality of the poetry of hermetism, with which Saba was associated, is combined with the rich melody of rhythmic blank verse. Saba’s poetic expression is marked by clarity of thought and form, as well as by sympathy for human suffering. In the collections Mediterranean (1947) and Almost a Short Story (1951), Saba exposed the evils of war and Nazism and poeticized labor. He called for an end to human alienation. Saba’s works have been widely translated.


II canzoniere (1900–54), 6th ed. [Turin, 1965.]
Prose. [Milan, 1964.]
Parole, Ultime cose, Méditerranée, Uccelli, Quasi un racconto. [Milan, 1966.]
In Russian translation:
In Iz ital’ianskikh poetov. Moscow, 1958.
In Ital’ianskaia lirika: XX vek. Moscow, 1968.
“Stikhi.” In Inostrannaia literatura, 1974, no. 4.


Portinari, F. Umberto Saba. [Milan, 1963.]
Cecchi, O. L’ aspro reino. Milan, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some authors focus on mythical influences in more contemporary readings such as Carmen Velasco's perspective on Maria Zambrano career or Jose Luis Aja Sanchez on Umberto Saba's poetry collection.
Tarozzi began writing poetry at a young age, influenced by the poetry of the Triestine Jewish writer Umberto Saba. She is a prolific translator (of Elizabeth Bishop, among others), and her writing style reflects this.
Dopo aver dato i natali a scrittori di fama mondiale, che rappresentano una parte integrante del patrimonio nazionale italiano (si pensi ad Umberto Saba o a Pier Paolo Pasolini), il Nordest della penisola italiana e caduto nell'ombra di regioni e regionalismi che ne hanno offuscato l'opera e l'arte.
In Adriano's book one of the recurring metaphors for poetry is the garden, seen as a dialogical space of creativity hosting and conversing with other poets such as Umberto Saba, Ugo Reale, Tommaso Lisi, Vito Riviello, Rodolfo Di Biasio, Govoni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Patrizia Cavalli, Cosimo Ortesta, Keats, Shelley and finally Wislawa Szymborska quoted at the beginning.
Includes Attilio Bertolucci, Carlo Betocchi, Piero Bigongiari, Dino Campana, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Ercole Ugo D'Andrea, Ennio De Santis, Guido Garufi, Alessandro Gentile, Alfredo Giuliani, Corrado Govoni, Margherita Guidacci, Massimo Lippi, Mario Luzi, Eugenio Montale, Arturo Onofri, Elio Pagliarani, Aldo Palazzeschi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cesare Pavese, Antonia Pozzi, Salvatore Quasimodo, Clemente Rebora, Amelia Rosselli, Umberto Saba, Edoardo Sanguineti, Vittorio Sereni, Maria Luisa Spaziani, and Giuseppe Ungaretti.
Seguono poi tre saggi sulla fortuna in Spagna di autori contemporanei italiani, Umberto Saba, Dino Buzzati e Cesare Pavese.
Condini, a poet and novelist, translates these verses from such celebrated Italian artists as Umberto Saba, Giovanni Pascola and Giorgio Guglielmino.
Umberto Saba was born in Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in 1883.
Thus I suppose I should, and do, prefer Eric Ormsby's lengthy, mixed review of my translations of Umberto Saba's Songbook: Selected Poems and History and Chronicle of the Songbook (December 2000), with its partial praise, to the general indifference with which the work has been received.