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Review – Eugenio Montale, Xenia, transl. Mario Petrucci

Eugenio Montale, transl. Mario Petrucci, Xenia, Bilingual Italian / English, 84 pp, £9.99, Arc Publications

Twenty-eight poems, some only two or three lines long, addressed to his dead wife by a poet in his late sixties and early seventies; Montale’s Xenia makes an approachable and moving introduction to this great but difficult poet. The Italian originals are beautifully presented in this book from Arc, though notes would have been helpful.

My feelings about Petrucci’s versions are ambivalent.  He presents the first poem like this:

Dear little insect
they called – I don’t know why – fly,
this evening on the brink of dark
while … Continue Reading