Sunday Italian Poem: Mattina ‘Morning’ (1917)

Giuseppe Ungaretti was a leading representative of the Hermeticism school of poetry, which believed that punctuation should be erased, meaning obscured, words reduced to essentials and compositions be as brief as possible.  He wrote this in the trenches of northern Italy in 1917 and it is perhaps the most famous modern Italian poem.

M’illumino
d’immenso

It is also a nightmare to translate into English.  This captures perhaps the sense of wonder and hope of the original:

Immensity fills
Me with light.

Or:

I illuminate myself
with immensity

Photo via David Stephens on Flickr.

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