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Salvatore Quasimodo
Italian author and poet who won 1959 Nobel Prize in Literature
(1901-68)



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Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal but which the reader recognizes as his own.
-- New York Times (14 May 1960)

However much everything else is distorted
The dead can never be sold.
Italy is my country, o stranger,
It is of its people I sing, and of the sound
Of secret lamentation that comes from its sea,
I sing of its mothers' chaste grief, of all its life.
-- Translation of a Quasimodo poem quoted by Presentation Speech by Anders Österling, Permanent
Secretary of the Swedish Academy during the award of 1959 Nobel Prize in
Literature to Salvatore Quasimodo


Là dura un vento che ricordo acceso
nelle criniere dei cavalli obliqui
in corsa lungo le pianure, vento
che macchia e rode l'arenaria e il cuore
dei telamoni lugubri, riversi
sopra l'erba.

There a wind remains that I recall afire
within the manes of horses as they slanted
their way across the planes, a wind that chafes
the sandstone and erodes the very hearts
of derelict caryatids cast down
Onto the grass. (...)
-- Strada di Agrigento (Agrigentum Road). Translated by A.Z. Foreman. Source: Poems in Translation blog.


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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