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Princeton University Press
Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini

Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini

by Alda Merini, Susan Stewart


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691129389
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/12/2009
Series: Facing Pages
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Susan Stewart is the author of five books of poems, including Red Rover and Columbarium, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other books include Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, which won the Christian Gauss and Truman Capote prizes for literary criticism, and The Open Studio: Essays on Art and Aesthetics. A former MacArthur Fellow, she is the Annan Professor of English at Princeton and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, ix

Translator's Introduction, 1

Acknowledgments, ix

Translator's Introduction, 1


from La presenza di Orfeo / The Presence of Orpheus (1953)

La presenza di Orfeo/The Presence of Orpheus, 18

Sar? sola?/Will I Be Alone?, 24

from Paura di Dio/Fear of God (1955)

Solo una mano d'angelo/Only an Angel's Hand, 26

Maria Egiziaca (Tintoretto)/Mary of

Egypt (Tintoretto), 28

Pax/Peace, 30

from Nozze romane/Roman Wedding (1955)

Nozze romane/Roman Wedding, 34

La Piet?/The Piet?, 36

La Sibilla Cumana/The Cumaean Sibyl, 38

Quando l'angoscia/When the Anguish, 40

from Tu sei Pietro/You Are Pietro (1961)

from Parte prima/The First Part

Missione di Pietro/Peter's Mission , 42

from Parte seconda/The Second Part

Sogno/Dream, 44

Lirica antica/Antique Lyric, 46

E pi? facile ancora/And It Would Be Even Easier, 48

from La Terra Santa/The Holy Land (1984)

Io ero un uccello/As for me, I used to be a bird, 50

Tangenziale dell'ovest/Western Ring Road, 52

La luna s'apre nei giardini del manicomio/The moon

unveils itself in the madhouse gardens, 54

Il mio primo trafugamento di madre/My first mothertheft, 56

from Per Michele Pierri/For Michele Pierri (unpublished until 1991)

Il canto dello sposo/The Song of the Groom, 58

Elegia/Elegy, 60

from La gazza ladra. Venti ritratti/The Thieving Magpie: Twenty Portraits (unpublished until 1991)

Saffo/Sappho, 62

Emily Dickinson/Emily Dickinson, 64

Plath/Plath, 66

Alda Merini/Alda Merini, 68

Il pastrano/The Overcoat, 70

Il grembiule/The Apron, 72

L'ospite/The Guest, 74

from Le satire della Ripa/Ripa's Satires (1983)

Cesare am? Cleopatra/Caesar loved Cleopatra, 76

from La palude di Manganelli o Il monarca del re/Manganelli's Quagmire or The King's Reign (1992)

Otello/Othello, 78

from Titano amori interno/Colossal Inner Loves (1993)

La sottoveste/The Slip, 80

from Ballate non pagate/Penniless ballads (1995)

Tornai allora a quella neve chiara/Then I went back to

that bright snow, 82

from La volpe e il sipario/The Fox and the Curtain (1997)

Che insostenibile chiaroscuro/What unbearable

chiaroscuro, 84

from Aforismi/Aphorisms (1997), 86


Sulla noce di un'albicocca/On the pit of an apricot, 92

La cosa pi? superba ? la notte/The most superb thing is the night, 94

La notte se non ? rapida/Night, if it is not swift, 96

C'era una fontana che dava albe/There was a fountain that offered dawns, 98

Naviglio che soccorri la mia carne/Naviglio that succors my fl esh, 100

Ci sono i paradisi artifi ciali/There are artificial paradises, 102

Resti un ardente ulivo/Stay steady burning olive tree, 104

In morte di mia sorella/On the Death of My Sister, 106

O canto della neve chiuso dentro la fossa/Oh song of the snow stuck inside the ditch, 108

Guerra/War, 110

Il Corvo/The Raven, 112

Il grido della morte/The Cry of Death, 116

Unpublished (composed 2001)

Nella terra di Scozia/In the land of Scotland, 122

Notes, 125

What People are Saying About This


What we have in Love Lessons is a fantastic selection of poems by Alda Merini, one of Italy's foremost poets, translated into English by Susan Stewart, one of America's foremost poets. As millions of Italian readers already know—and English readers are about to discover for the first time—to open a book by Merini is to discover a poetry of immediate freshness, unlike any other.
Robert P. Harrison, Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature, Stanford University

Margaret Brose

Alda Merini is one of the most powerful contemporary female poets writing in Italian. In poems marked by a visionary clarity and lyricism, she sings of the anger and pain of both erotic love and insanity. Susan Stewart's translation is breathtaking. She has accomplished the impossible: a faithful, almost line-by-line translation that is deeply and authentically poetic. The poems speak in their own tongue.
Margaret Brose, University of California, Santa Cruz

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