Giuseppe Ungaretti

Giuseppe Ungaretti was born in Alejandria (Egypt), where his family moved to work, in 1888; he was a poet. In 1914, he returned to Italy and enlisted in the army when the First World War began; he fought in Carso and France. In 1916, he published Il Porto Sepolto (the port buried) where he reflected his war experiences.

In 1919, he published his second collection Gioia di naufraghi (joy of castaways) with which he showed a new kind of poetry. In 1933, after the war, he published Senso del Tempo (sense of time). He was professor in the University of Rome from 1942 to 1958. He also was one of the founders of the Italian Hermetic School thanks to his publication called di un uomo vita (a man’s life). The last 25 years of his life show a desire of renovation. He died in Milan in 1970.

Poems in Italian

Tutto quello che ho perso l'infanzia
e non riesco più a lungo
dimenticare un grido.

Ho seppellito l'infanzia
sul fondo delle notti
e ora, spada invisibile,
mi separa da tutto.

Esultato ricordo il mio amore,
ed eccomi qui perduto
l'infinito della notte.

Aumenta la disperazione implacabile,
e per me la vita,
detenuto nella parte posteriore della gola,
non è che una urla rock.
Giuseppe Ungaretti

All I've lost childhood
and I cannot longer
forget a shout.

I buried childhood
at the bottom of the nights
and now, invisible sword,
separates me from everything.

Exulted remember my loving,
and here I am lost
the infinity of night.

Relentless desperation increases,
and for me life,
detained in the back of the throat,
is nothing but a rock screams.
Giuseppe Ungaretti