BOOKS

JOURNAL

ABOUT

CONTACT

 


View Cart

BOOK TALK

Front Cover | Back Cover

Biographical Notes

Endorsements

Articles & Reviews

L’Allegria

poems by Giuseppe Ungaretti
translation from Italian by Wally Swist

Print (softcover) $21.95  

 

To pay by check please use this order form.
We are pleased to take orders from retailers. Email us with details about your order or call us at 207-837-5760.

“Trench warfare and lyric poetry are an unusual—pairing. Some readers would doubtless even recoil at the notion of linking the two. After all, the former shows the ugliness and bestiality that mankind is all too capable of inflicting on the world. The latter, on the other hand, shows the beauty and humanity to which the genius of the human mind can aspire and the lasting beauty that it can produce. And yet there are artists who find, if not beauty, then at least eternal verities in cataclysmic events that can inspire them to creative heights. One such artist was the Italian poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888–1970), whose collection L’Allegria was composed while the poet himself was engaged in the brutal, dehumanizing, life-and-death combat of the trench warfare of World War I.” (Frank Hugus, University of Massachusetts Amherst) Wally Swist has published over forty books of poetry and prose. This skillful and faithful translation of L'Allegria exposes Swist's love and ardor for the poetry of Giuseppe Ungaretti, most especially, L’Allegria, his “cheerfulness” in the face of adversity.

POETRY / European / Italian

ISBN: 978-1-956056-96-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2023943003

Released August 2023  |  Copyright 2023

196 pages

Biographical Notes

Giuseppe Ungaretti (8 February 1888–2 June 1970), Italian modernist poet, journalist, essayist, critic, and academic influenced by symbolism, especially the French-Romanian poet Tristan Tzara, he was briefly aligned with futurism. Ungaretti led the experimental trend known as Ermetismo (“Hermeticism"), in which he advocated “a personal approach to poetry,” and became one of the most significant contributors to twentieth-century Italian literature. Ungaretti debuted as a poet while fighting in the trenches in World War I, later publishing his iconic and possibly best-known book, L'Allegria. During the interwar period, he was a foreign-based correspondent, but after spending several years in Brazil, he returned to Italy during World War II and was assigned a teaching post at the University of Rome, where he spent his final decades. In 1970 he was the initial recipient of the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature, awarded biennially by World Literature Today.

Wally Swist (26 April 1953— ) has published over forty books and chapbooks of poetry and prose, including Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012); Daodejing: A New Interpretation, with Steven Schroeder and David Breeden (Lamar University Press, 2015); Awakening and Visitation, Evanescence: Selected Poems, and Taking Residence (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2020, 2020, 2021). Swist's translations have appeared in Asymptote (Taiwan), Chicago Quarterly Review, Chiron Review, DASH: Literary Journal, Eureka Street (Australia), Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation, The Montreal Review, Poetry London, The RavensPerch: Adding Breath to Words, Solace: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, Today’s American Catholic, Transference, Transom, Visions International, and Vox Populi. His latest book, A Writer’s Statements on Beauty: New and Selected Essays and Reviews, was published by Shanti Arts in 2022.

Endorsements

“Trench warfare and lyric poetry are an unusual—and rare—pairing. Some readers would doubtless even recoil at the notion of linking the two. After all, the former shows the ugliness and bestiality that mankind is all too capable of inflicting on the world. The latter, on the other hand, shows the beauty and humanity to which the genius of the human mind can aspire and the lasting beauty that it can produce. And yet there are artists who find, if not beauty, then at least eternal verities in cataclysmic events that can inspire them to creative heights. One such artist was the Italian poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888–1970), whose collection L’Allegria was composed while the poet himself was engaged in the brutal, dehumanizing, life-and-death combat of the trench warfare of World War I.

L’Allegria was my introduction to the works of Ungaretti, and it has made me wish I had read Ungaretti’s poems long before this! There is a haunting, almost desperate beauty to them, understandable given the circumstances under which they were written, which stays with the reader (at least with this reader) long after one has read them. Perhaps surprisingly, most of the poems in L’Allegria are life-affirming, and only a few evoke a nihilism which would have been thoroughly justified given the circumstances surrounding their genesis.

“Poet Wally Swist’s English versions of Ungaretti’s Italian poems strike me (although I must confess that I do not know Italian) as faithful renditions in tone and in imagery to the Italian originals. And, very important to me as a literary translator, Swist’s English renderings of L’Allegria don’t at all read like translations!” —Frank Hugus Professor Emeritus, German and Scandinavian Studies University of Massachusetts Amherst

Articles and Reviews

Barry Harris, Review, Tipton Poetry Journal (Spring 2024)

Steve Pfarrer, Review, Daily Hampshire Gazette (November 11, 2023)

 

Shanti Arts LLC. Copyright © 2011-2024. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced in any form.
info@shantiarts.com  |  193 Hillside Road  Brunswick  Maine  04011  |  207-837-5760