Course Description:

Experiment and persistence of the tradition, political commitment and dissection of the subject are some of the peculiar elements of twentieth-century Italian poetry. Taught in Italian, this seminar-style course examines this particular combination in canonical texts of modern poetry and experimental theater, starting with d’Annunzio’s and Pascoli’s verse and moving to the new poetic idiom of the so-called ‘twilight poetry,’ the Futurist experiments, and the language plays of the postwar avant-garde. We will examine and discuss the political implications of war poetry (e.g., Ungaretti and Saba) as well as the effects of explicitly ideological texts such as Pasolini’s and Balestrini’s.

Learning Goals:

By the end of the course students will be able to recognize basic formal elements of Italian poetry, identify different poetic genres, and discuss specific questions concerning the translation of poetry. Through class presentations, intensive textual analysis, and written exercises students will acquire a vocabulary adequate to analyze and evaluate poetry.

Departmental Goals II and III: Cultural Proficiency and Professional Preparation.

Required Texts:

  • Electronic texts available on SAKAI
  • John Picchione and Lawrence R. Smith, Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry. An Anthology. Toronto UP, 1993 (Rutgers Bookstore). ISBN #

Reference (available in the Alexander Library):

  • Dictionary of Italian literature, edited by Peter Bondanella. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996. Revis. Ed. (Archibald S. Alexander Library).
  • The Cambridge history of Italian literature, edited by Peter Brand and Lino Pertile. Cambridge/ New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996 (Archibald S. Alexander Library)
  • Dizionario critico della letteratura italiana, diretto da Vittore Branca, 2a ed. Torino: UTET, 1986. 4 vv. (Archibald S. Alexander Library).
  • Niva Lorenzini, La poesia del Novecento, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1999 (PQ 4113.L617 1999.Archibald S. Alexander Library)
  • Pietro G. Beltrami, Gli strumenti della poesia. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002 Archibald S. Alexander Library)
  • Antonio Pinchera. La metrica. Milano: B. Mondadori, 1999 Archibald S. Alexander Library)

Course Requirements and Grade distribution:

Participation, 25%: Active participation in class discussion based on the preparation of three to five questions assigned in advance for each class. More than 3 absences will negatively affect the participation grade.

Papers, 25%: 2 papers on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Midterm, 25%: identifications and essay questions.

Final, 25%: identifications and essay questions.