Poetic Diaries 1971 and 1972

Overview

Poetic Diaries 1971 and 1972 is one of the Nobel Prize–winning poet Eugenio Montale’s final works, and it reveals the last act of the twentieth-century master to be one of splendid negation.Poetic Diaries 1971 and 1972 is ruled by a brusque economy, and Montale’s is, here, a poetics of magnificent reduction. The poet meditates on the very conditions of his art: language reveals itself to be madness, and poetry a broken promise. The Muse has become a scarecrow: “She still has / one sleeve, with which she conducts ...

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Overview

Poetic Diaries 1971 and 1972 is one of the Nobel Prize–winning poet Eugenio Montale’s final works, and it reveals the last act of the twentieth-century master to be one of splendid negation.Poetic Diaries 1971 and 1972 is ruled by a brusque economy, and Montale’s is, here, a poetics of magnificent reduction. The poet meditates on the very conditions of his art: language reveals itself to be madness, and poetry a broken promise. The Muse has become a scarecrow: “She still has / one sleeve, with which she conducts her scrannel / straw quartet. It’s the only music I can stand.” And yet music it is, and time and time again Montale attains a contrarian grandeur that renews faith in the art he punishes. These poems are dense and dramatic, evasive and erotic and vividly alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Rachel Hadas
“Dry and luminous, sharp-edged and visionary. . . . William Arrowsmith’s translations [are] as tough, delicate, and unsentimental as the originals.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393344196
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/3/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,441,003
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975.

William Arrowsmith was a renowned translator and classics scholar.

Rosanna Warren, the author of four collections of poetry, has received awards from the Academy of Arts and Letters and has won the Lamont Poetry Prize. She teaches at the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Editor's Note xv

Poetic Diary: 1971 1

To Leone Traverso 3

I When the wild Witch plays hide-and-seek… 3

II I too once dreamed of being… 3

Poor Art 5

Changing Color 7

Like Zaccheus 11

The Positive 13

The Negative 15

To C. 17

Corso Dogali 19

Red on Red 21

Toward the Bottom 23

The Kingfisher 25

In the Courtyard 27

Hiding Places 29

EI Desdichado 31

Receding 33

My Muse 35

The Driver 37

Where Charity Begins 39

The Prick 41

Fire 43

To That Woman Who Reads the Newspapers 45

Shooting at a Moving Target 47

The Swift 49

The Form of the World 51

Lac d'Annécy 53

The Poet 55

The Big Deal 57

Imitation of Thunder 59

At the Conference 61

The Milk-Shake 63

We're fed up with… 67

The Language of God 69

At This Point 71

If evil naturaliter can't desist… 73

I never tire of telling my trainer… 75

The Triumph of Trash 77

Dr. Schweitzer 79

Early July 81

I repeat, I'm ready… 83

The Imponderable 85

Letter to Bobi 87

Without Surprise 89

Letter to Malvolio 91

p.p.c. 95

Poetic Diary: 1972 97

Early or Late 99

Visitors 101

The Odor of Heresy 105

Flood Tides 109

For a Ninth Stanza 113

Fame and the Fisc 115

He who pulls the strings… 117

Jaufré 119

The Horse 121

Nocturne 123

Figures of Speech 125

The Terror of Existence 127

Verboten 129

What Matters Most 131

Kingfisher 133

The Chiming Pendulum Clock 135

Others die for us… 137

To a Great Philosopher 139

The Hermit Crab 141

In an "Italian" Garden 143

On the Beach 145

The New Iconographers 147

Asor 149

At Annécy Again 151

The Lord of the Revels 153

There's No Dying 155

Men have organized themselves… 157

Life in the Trojan Horse… 159

Annetta 161

The Hunt 165

Between Light and Dark 167

Opinions 169

A Millenarian 171

Decline of Values 173

My Optimism 175

Two Epigrams 177

I I don't know why it's held… 177

II That I deserve punishment… 177

Diamantina 179

We must prefer… 183

No boxing-match or card-game… 185

Sorapis, 40 Years Ago 187

No Coups de théâtre 189

In hoc signo… 191

L'Élan Vital 193

Tired Dancer 195

To My Cricket 197

In Conclusion 199

Notes 201

Index 209

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