[Milton-L] 1912-2012: A tribute to a great poet, Milton included

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 13:05:41 EST 2012

>Do you recommend any particular Italian edition or English translation of Pascoli's writing?

By searching through Amazon, this book can be retrieved, "Last Voyage:
Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli" being described as follows: "This
first appearance of Pascoli’s poems in English translation provides an
introduction to his work for the English-speaking reader. The first
section of the book includes some of Pascoli’s brief lyric poems, many
of them displaying his innovative use of image narrative. We see
scenes of country life in his village near Barga, Italy, in the Apuan
Alps, at the end of the 19th century. We see the aurora borealis,
chickens, donkeys, women hanging laundry, the new railway and men
crushing wheat. The second part of the book consists of three somewhat
formal narrative poems set in classical Rome and Greece."

. . . i.e., the triumph of commonplace. All that he could not stand:
"we see . . . chickens, donkeys, . . .  [or] somewhat formal narrative
poems" . . . my God! His rereadings of Greek Classics etc. in a modern
key, see "Poemi Conviviali," are beyond compare.

It is however true that Pascoli is hard translating and hard offering
to English readers. His language was quite experimental, and
multi-level: sometimes deeply rooted in popular slangs; sometimes, on
the contrary, in high scholarship; or both. Many Sunday poets still
try to imitate his 'country' style, with ridiculous effects. He
already attacked them during his lifetime.

As to Italian editions, very good is (two volumes) "Poesie" and "Poemi
e Canzoni", ed. Mario Pazzaglia, Rome: Salerno Editrice, respectively
2002 and 2003.

P.S. Pascoli's brilliant, underrated and quickly forgotten comments on
the Divine Comedy proved a major source for my essay "Dante era uno
scrittore fantasy" - to be published in English, "Dante Was a Fantasy
Writer," in early 2013 by International Authors, i.e. Prof. Carter

P.P.S. Milton and Klimt: honestly nothing to add, it was a sudden
inspiration, unfortunately not an issue I had the opportunity to study
more thoroughly.


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