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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Monday 07 November 2005

Eugenio Montale

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.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Serendipoetry

Augustus

As you sow, so shall you reap. The bags packed,
Umbers and gold swollen between the purse-strings,
Getaway cars nose on a hot scent.
Under striped canvas the patrons gather,
Staring at blue, incorrigible seas.
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(Carcanet Press)

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The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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