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History and Chronicle of the Songbook

Umberto Saba

Translated by Stephen Sartarelli

History and Chronicle of The Songbook
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ISBN: 978 1 878818 39 3
Categories: 19th Century, 20th Century, Italian, Memoirs
Imprint: Sheep Meadow Press
Published: July 2011
229 x 152 x 20 mm
250 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Author
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  • Reviews
  • History and Chronicle of the Songbook by Umberto Saba (1883-1957) , the great Italian poet, is a unique book of self-criticism, memoir and criticism. Here we have Saba writing about the art of poetry, the birth and meaning of his own poems.


    Translator's Foreword
    Author's Preface
    History and Chronicle of the Songbook
    Saba's Strengths and Weaknesses and a Few Reasons for his success
    Juvenilia and Early Works: Saba's Education and Origin (1900-1910)
    Military POems (1908)
    House and Country (1909-1910)
    Trieste and a Woman (1910-1912)
    Serene Desperation (1913-1915)
    Poems Written During the War
    Light and Airy Things (1920)
    The Loving Thorn (1920)
    Prelude and Canzonettas (1922-1923)
    Autobiography (1920)
    The prisoners (1924)
    Girls (1925)
    Dying Heart (1925-1930)
    The Man (1928)
    Prelude and Fugues (1928-1929)
    Little Berto (1929-1931)
    Words (1933-1934)
    Five Poems for the Game of Soccer
    Last Things 1935-1943

    Umberto Saba
    Umberto Saba was born Umberto Poli in 1883. He married Carolina Woelfler in 1909, and their only child, Lina (Linuccia) was born the following year. They lived in various places in northern Italy until Saba bought a bookshop in Trieste in 1919. The first edition of his great Canzoniere, 'a ... read more
    'Saba's poetry seems like the pure sound of a voice, a voice nearly freed from the bonds of words. The monody is pure feeling, in a musical state. The Language of Italian poetry which has almost always sought transfiguration in plasticity and relief, has rarely known an exception so singular. Saba attains the lied as if without realising it'
    Eugenio Montale
    'The moral physiognomy of Saba is very powerfully alive in his work, and makes him, now and forever, a great author. To this vast, complex, long-suffering personality, his poems bear witness, and from it draw their light....I have the impression that Saba, in our day, has been just discovered, and that the task of evaluating the full scope of his greatness will have to fall to others, when distance will have further clarified the perspectives. Saba will have to wait. Yet how many in Europe, can be as certain in their wait as he?'
    Quarantotti Gambini
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