La Bufera e Altro (The Storm and Other Things) by Eugenio Montale

La Bufera e Altro ("The Storm and Other Things") is a collection of poems published by Eugenio Montale in 1956. Montale, one of the most famous Italian poets of the 20th century, is one of my favourite poets of all times.

His poetry has often been described as pessimistic and hermetic. While this is true, one needs to consider the historical background which accounts for its main features. When Montale started publishing his works, Mussolini was already in power. Montale always refused to join the fascist party, and as a result was denied employment and the possibility to gain from his work. His isolation was, therefore, a way to express his respect for the values of human dignity and his faith in mankind.

Montale's poetry can be sometimes difficult to understand, due to its being "hermetic" and introspective. But his poems are always beautiful to read alound, and have a strong imagery which catches the reader's attention.

For example:Felicità raggiunta, si cammina per te
su fil di lama.

Agli occhi, sei barlume che vacilla,

al piede, teso ghiaccio che s'incrina;

e dunque non ti tocchi chi più t'ama
.(From "Felicità raggiunta")

Happiness, for you we walkon a knife edge.To the eyes you are a flickering light,to the feet, thin ice that cracks;and so may no one touch you who loves you.
Another of my favourite passages (my translation for this one):
L'attesa è lunga,
il mio sogno di te non è finito.
(From "Il sogno del prigioniero")
The wait is long,
my dream of you has not finished.

(Cross-posted from my blog, Out of the Blue)

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