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Leopardi : Selected Poems

4.18 (127 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

These translations of the major poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1798--1837) render into modern English verse the work of a writer who is widely regarded as the greatest lyric poet in the Italian literary tradition. In spite of this reputation, and in spite of a number of nineteenth-and twentieth-century translations, Leopardi's poems have never "come over" into English in such a way as to guarantee their author a recognition comparable to that of other great European Romantic poets. By catching something of Leopardi's cadences and tonality in a version that still reads as idiomatic modern English (with an occasional Irish or American accent), Leopardi: Selected Poems should win for the Italian poet the wider appreciative audience he deserves. His themes are mutability, landscape, love; his attitude, one of unflinching realism in the face of unavoidable human loss. But the manners of the poems are a unique amalgam of philosophical toughness and the lyrically bittersweet. In a way more pure and distilled than most others in the Western tradition, these poems are truly what Matthew Arnold asked all poetry to be, a "criticism of life."
The translator's aim is to convey something of the profundity and something of the sheer poetic achievement of Leopardi's inestimable Canti.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 120 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 9.14mm | 170g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691016445
  • 9780691016443
  • 1,013,517

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction to Giacomo LeopardiTranslator's Introduction: "Attempts and Preludes"Infinitive3Sunday Evening5To the Moon9Dream11The Life of Solitude17Sappho's Last Song23Chorus of the Dead27To Silvia31The Solitary Thrush35Memories39The Clam after the Storm49Saturday in the Village53Night Song of a Nomadic Shepherd in Asia57To Himself67The Setting Moon69Broom or The Flower of the Desert73
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Review quote

Winner of the 1998 Poetry in Translation Award, PEN American Center "[Leopardi's] contribution to 19th-century European poetry second only to Baudelaire's ... there's plenty to be grateful for in this lucidly translated selection... "--Boston Review
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About Giacomo Leopardi

Eamon Grennan has published three collections of poetry: What Light There Is & Other Poems, As If It Matters, and So It Goes. He has a degree in English and Italian from University College, Dublin, and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. A native of Ireland, he divides his time between there and Poughkeepsie, New York, where he is the Dexer M. Ferry, Jr., Professor of English at Vassar College.
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Rating details

127 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 41% (52)
4 41% (52)
3 13% (17)
2 5% (6)
1 0% (0)
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