lyrikline blog

Readings to remember: Giuseppe Ungaretti

Posted in Giuseppe Ungaretti by lyrikline on 9. March 2014

Italian modernist poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti (February 10, 1888 – June 2, 1970) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and lived in North Africa as a youth. He studied in Paris before serving in the Italian infantry during World War I. His poetry was influenced by the nomadic culture of North Africa, by the friendships he formed with the literary and avant-garde circles of Paris, and by his European war experiences.

In his poem I fiumi (‘Rivers’), Ungaretti names the stations of his life, by bringing in the four rivers: the Serchio, Tuscany, where his ancestors came from, the Nile, Egypt, where he was born, the Seine, Paris, where he studied and  the Isonzo, near Trieste, where he made his war experiences in the ‘Battles of the Isonzo’.

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The Italian text  can be read here, and an English translation here.