ReadySteadyBlog

This week's Poem of the Week is 1975 Nobel Prize-winning Eugenio Montale's To laze at noon. I'm a new convert to Montale - helped, in this, by Handsel Books' fine volume Montale in English:


Eugenio Montale (1896 - 1981) was the greatest Italian poet since Leopardi, perhaps since Petrarch, and is generally acknowledged as one of the preeminent European poets of the last century. His lyrical, mysterious poems abound in natural images--the high cliffs and inlets of the Ligurian coast, golden sunflowers, scolding blackbirds, and sun-scorched landscapes. Indeed, in the view of James Merrill, whose superb translations of several of Montale's poems appear in this volume, Montale was "the twentieth-century nature poet," in whose lines "any word can lead you from the kitchen garden into really inhuman depths." Also full of mythological and literary resonance, Montale's poems poignantly explore the connection between nature, the individual, and the divine.

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