Tuesday, May 26, 2015



By Giuseppe Ungaretti

Translated by Patrick Creagh

A whole night through
thrown down beside
a butchered comrade
with his clenched teeth
turned to the full moon
and the clutching 
of his hands
thrust into my silence
I have written
letters full of love

Never have I clung
so fast
to life

Giuseppe Ungaretti was one of the greatest Italian poets of 20th century. Being my favourite Italian poet, I had featured  two of his poems earlier. He is a poet of minimalism. Just after Italy’s entry into World War I in 1905, Ungaretti was sent to the Northern Italy which witnessed some of the war’s bloodiest battles. The ever-present tension  in war and the acute awareness of being close to death sharpened his sensibilities and purified his poetry to the essentials.

 This poem, which has an ascetic quality, is an example of his potent verse where the images come into sharp focus in all its sad irony and intimacy.

Source: Giuseppe Ungaretti :Selected poems (Penguin European Poets series). Painting by Goya

Source: Giuseppe Ungaretti : Selected poems (Penguin European Poets series). Painting by Goya

No comments:

Post a Comment