In her presence the ancient tombs along the Appian Way appear to lose all the historical significance usually associated with ruins in Carducci's landscape poetry. Naz., V, 103-4. There is nothing decadent or anti-social about it; and the only ethical defiance is against asceticism. Carducci, moreover, led an active political life. blue and gold are the colours favoured by Gothic artists and illuminators of manuscripts. i.e in Bologna, in whose university Carducci held the Chair of Italian Literature. The first extends from 1850 to 1858; the second from 1857 to 1870; the third from 1860 to 1870. E. Thovez, Il pastore, il gregge e la zampogna (Naples, 1910), 71: ‘nemmeno il più acceso degli erotomani può credere che le Lidie, le Lalagi, le Dafni, le Line carducciane siano donne di carne ed ossa.’. Both excelled in their adaptations to new uses of classical metres, Swinburne striving most to master the difficulties of the Pindaric ode, Carducci of the Alcaic and the Sapphic stanza. Carducci is frankly pagan, and, like Schopenhauer and Leopardi, æsthetically pessimistic. How puerile, now that England needs them, sound the voices of her poets! Now the two great mediæval institutions of the North were feudalism and monasticism; the one enslaved men's bodies, the other their minds. Justice—delayed but inexorable—had finally been done on the Emperor by visiting his punishment upon his only male descendant. Every patriotic aspiration had for its aims the liberation of Rome from the Papal yoke. The extent to which he succeeded in imparting the popular or the rustic with equally relaxed conviction is more debatable. Then there are the poems which might be called “songs of Maremma nostalgia.” Such a nostalgic song is “Colli Toscani” [“Tuscan Hills”]. Just as he saw in Christianity not a spiritual discipline and an attitude towards life, but merely clericalism and asceticism, so he conceived of romanticism as just Weltschmerz and sentimentality. He avoids a confusion of Carducci's intention with the result: ‘Si tratterebbe d'un amore rusticano, e la rusticità dell'ispirazione avrebbe dovuto salvare il poeta da certe stonature classicistiche.’. In 1859, he married Elvira Menicucci. It is a commonplace to say that the nations of the North have seen in Italy from the first the home of romance, the pleasure-place of the imagination. Wherefore to thee, taught by human sorrow, arise our praises and our prayers in hymns, and, when the year is full, thine altar is decked with votive honour. Under that blazing midday sun flooding the earth with a “kiss” of light, the cicadas' “song” is not an irritant but a paean to summer, and even the dead, in the poet's mind, seem to invite the living to love one another. So soon as he expresses genuine feeling the only influence is that of the ancients, as in the sonnets on the death of his elder brother. Carducci's affection for Crispi remained unshaken by the hostile demonstration he was subject to in his own University in 1891, and by the strong charges brought against Crispi by his foes in 1895 and 1896. Jan 31st, 2021 Wigmore Hall – UK. It is a poem in which the poet compares his literary life with that of the people who work the Maremma land, as he saw in childhood: “Oh how cold thereafter was my life, how obscure and disagreeable it has been!” He says it would have been better to remain there in the fields, to be a peasant of the Maremma, to marry blond Maria, and to forget himself in labor: “Better to forget, while working, without inquiring, this huge mystery of the universe.” Here the nostalgia for the Maremma gives rise to a deep meditation and a discouragement with life. The last volume of Carducci's poetry, Rime e Ritmi, appeared in 1899. Guido Vecchio da Polenta, founder of the dynasty, took a black eagle as his heraldic device. How they answer Carducci's own words in his masterpiece, “Alle Fonti del Clitumno” (“At the Sources of the Clitumnus”), of the “Galileo di rosse chiome”! After several difficult years in which he taught in various high schools, he was appointed to the chair of Italian Literature at the University of Bologna, a post that he held until his retirement in 1904. He stood in a relation to his country that is granted only to the greatest, speaking her language to interpret her soul. Poetry with the Latin nations is more gregarious, more a product of schools and fraternities, less of isolated inspiration, than with us. In Tuscany he was born and brought up, and his inner self and manly character was formed in Tuscany, and especially in the Maremme. Poseidon: god of the seas and earthquakes (hence Carducci's ‘Enosigeon’: lit. Christ, the ‘red-haired Galilean’, is referred to here. Below these highest regions, forests of pines and firs stand tall and motionless in the windless air and seem now to be of the substance of the luminous silence that has penetrated and possessed them. This allusion to Böcklin, who was after all a mediocre painter, recalls to my mind the essay of another professor, Cesare De Lollis, who in the now very distant 1912, in contrasting a famous passage from “Alle fonti del Clitunno” with Leopardi's “Già di candide Ninfe i rivi albergo …” (“Streams, once the abode of white Nymphs,” from “Alla Primavera o Delle Favole Antiche”), remarked3 that the whole stanza of Leopardi “is a miraculous selection of themes of the mythico-pastoral world interpreted with the concreteness which Böcklin brought to the interpretation of that world;” whereas in Carducci's lines. 'Tis sweet among the vines to listen to far-off tales of our forefathers, while the godlike sun is setting and the gracious stars are voyaging over us, and across the waters and among the leaves the breeze is soughing. Quite apart, however, from Carducci's militant hostility to the Catholic Church, a hostility almost wholly due to transitory causes, there lay deep in his temperament an elective kinship with paganism. … And I forgot the maidens dancing in the sun of May and the shining of their white shoulders under the tresses of gold. (“From heaven he, she an autochthonous heroine …”), “there is nothing either seen by the poet or to be seen by the reader.” For Momigliano, therefore, Böcklin stands for “the formlessness and morbidity of romanticism;” for De Lollis, on the contrary, he signifies romantic “concreteness” as opposed to the abstractions of academic poetry. Poetry recorded the event in the. the conspiracy of monarchy and church to suppress the people's legitimate aspirations is here suggested as a fraud perpetrated in the name of God. The metre appears to echo the insistent rhythm of a locomotive speeding over its tracks. In that same year, he was the winner in a competition for the chair of Greek in the secondary school of Arezzo, but his appointment was not approved by the granducal government. In terms of its technique, the poem has been praised by Italian critics as the finest example of Carducci's ‘polytonality’ (A. Momigliano). In all their years together he had barely given Elvira an affectionate mention, and now, in ‘Idillio maremmano’, he suddenly wrote what on the surface seems to be a love poem for a blond, buxom country lass imaginatively plucked from his idealized childhood and early adolescence in the Maremma of well over twenty years before. In ‘Alexandria’ he even represents the victory of the Church as Egypt's revenge on Rome for Augustus' triumph over ‘her bleating gods.’. As he was entering a cab to return home, one student, personally known to Carducci, tried to strike him on the head with a big key. Thus in a short occasional poem to Delia,21 “O Delia, dei laghi lombardi …,” and in the better known ode “Su l'Adda”: Exotic desires, to be sure, elusive dreams, “the vain longing after ancient beauty.” And romantic mysteries, like the one recorded in the “Vendette della luna,” a poem admittedly modelled on one of Baudelaire's Petits poèmes en prose, Les Bienfaits de la lune; where the poet drinks “a strange, unspeakable sweetness” from the eyes of the beloved. You feel at once that the writer is not alone a poet factus ad unguem, but a scholar as well, thoroughly imbued with classical lore, which he reproduces, not as a slavish imitator, but with an added grace and modern significance which it has acquired in the glowing crucible of his own vivid imagination. Whenever these efforts aspire beyond mere vers de société, the outcome is almost always a lifeless literary exercise, such as the mythological poems of Leconte de Lisle or of Théodore de Banville. You see I am at work. the armies of Attila the Hun invaded Italy in 452 a.d. the Langobards (otherwise ‘Vinili’) invaded and occupied Italy in the 7th to 8th centuries a.d. Queen Theodolinda (d. 628 a.d.), wife of King Agilulf of the Langobards, led the conversion of her people from their Arian heresy to orthodox Catholicism. … For the metre employed, see notes to ‘Dinanzi alle Terme di Caracalla’. [In the following essay, Phelps studies Carducci's political, religious, and emotional roots. His abode was a single bedroom; his time was spent in work and studies; his only pastime was meeting some congenial friends, with whom classic authors were read and discussed. yellow: the traditional colour of evil, but prominent also in the Papal standard in the golden keys of St. Peter. But Carducci, who lived to see Italia risorta, modified his fiery antagonisms. [In the following article, Praz maintains that though Carducci scorned romanticism, his poetry shows romantic tendencies.]. When the Romantic movement revitalised the literature of Europe an unwholesome tinge of self-pity tainted its Italian exponents. It may be objected that these things—patriotism, love, aversion, dislike—are feelings, not ideas. In 1853 he was sent to the Normal School of Pisa, of which he speaks so bitterly: “Here you will find a chattering professor who will merely tire you with his dates, copied from all sorts of books, then he will tell you with a grand air, without any explanation or reasoning, things which children of the second elementary school know, things hashed and rehashed by all the academicians in all academies of all time. To you I am Signor Carducci.’ And he strode angrily on.” On another occasion they were in the street together when a ragged journalist stopped them, asking help for his sick wife and unluckily adding that it was he who had written an article in appreciation of Carducci which had appeared the week before. Next to these odes should be placed the Primavere elleniche [Hellenic Springs] to which Carducci gave such an eminent position in his work; “La Moglie del Gigante” [“The Wife of the Giant”]; or “I due Titani,” which is more mature in feeling and in form, and in which Prometheus and Atlas curse the tyrant Jove in a sort of new hymn to Satan. After the unification of Italy, Carducci's career flourished, but his personal life suffered when his mother and his only son died. Likewise fluì, the last word of the poem, echoes the acoustic effect of mezzodì with its accented last vowel (which creates the illusion of a rhyme) and thereby keeps us suspended in the midday impression of indeterminacy and timelessness.12 Thus the word fluì has an enormously important role in the poem. Thovez uses Leopardi as a yardstick for measuring Carducci's failure. the ‘temple’ is the Basilica di San Petronio, the vast brick-built Gothic church of 1390, which dominates the central square (Piazza Maggiore) of Bologna. The birth of Giosuè Carducci, which met the need of a robuster spirit in Italian poetry to match the renewal of national hope, occurred in 1835. Giosue did try to avoid the dissonance. The trend of the Latin mind to classification and analysis asserts itself in literature as elsewhere. Indeed Goethe's well-known saying, that classic art is healthy art, romantic art is sickly art, is perhaps truer of Italian literature than of any other. the ideal, existing platonically beyond space and time, is indestructible, therefore alone ‘true’. It carried human nostalgia back, not towards the Middle Ages, but towards Hellenism and the Roman spirit. In order to understand fully the note of actuality which is in these lines, one needs only remember that Graces and Loves were familiar presences no less in the rooms of a lady of the Premier Empire than in those of a Roman or Pompeian lady: they were in the appliques of the furniture designed after classical models, they were the candle-bearing Cupids and the Graces supporting a clock or running in a fair frieze round the crown of a chandelier. The first two collections of his poetry were Rime (1857) [Rhymes] and Levia Gravia (1868) [Light and Heavy]. The tutelary gods of Italy fled. So the Romantic Movement was never at home on Italian soil. There is in one of the last poems of this pagan and anti-Catholic a realization of the human value of prayer and the function of the church during the Middle Ages. Faithful to this important truth, in his riper years Carducci could look toward the monarchy with new sympathy without being unfaithful to his principles. Thorough examination of Carducci's best works, including Odi barbare. He is the spiritual descendant of Juvenal—“Horace with an active political conscience.”. His teacher of rhetoric was Father Geremia Barsottini, to whom the poet rendered homage for his prose translation of all the odes of Horace and to whom he always remained devoted. 2. In this study we shall make use of this expedient, arranging the various moods of inspiration in groupings which best serve interpretation of that poetry. In this poem, Carducci displays his strong sympathies with Mazzini, the man and his cause. What have I done, except love the fatherland, this poor and great and lovely Italy, even when I seemed most provoked with her! The previous seven years had witnessed the deaths of notable figures—protagonisis and antagonists—caught up in the history of the Risorgimento and Italian unification: Mazzini in 1872, the deposed Napoleon III in 1873, both Pope Pius IX (pontiff through the earlier years of the Risorgimento from 1846) and Victor Emmanuel II (first monarch of united Italy) in 1878. Not the sum of all of them can compass the passion of but one of Swinburne's odes. Carducci had but lately refused the highest honour in the power of the Italian Government to bestow, to wit, the Cross of Savoy for Civil Merit. There are other midday references in Carducci. This is existential time, that is time experienced as Angst—the awareness of one's finitude and the dread of being swept along into nonbeing. His temple, in which were stored the records of Rome, stood below the Capitoline hill. It seemed to many that Italian freedom had been sacrificed to Italian unity. Wayward and wilful, to be sure, hot-tempered and quick to tears, proud as Lucifer and unselfconscious as a child, a mixture of hero and enfant terrible, generous, laborious, and brave, he answers to the sociologist's definition of genius, he is the eternal adolescent. Swinburne was essentially the literary poet, Carducci the social poet, the man of action, who frequently felt a great distaste for the whole business of poetry, “di tutta questa rimaria italiana.” Indeed it was the tragedy of his life that circumstances prevented him from easing in action the passion that consumed him. The tradition of Carducci's art at evidence here is close to the neoclassical spirit of Winkelman, Goethe and Schiller in Germany, or Chénier and Leconte de Lisle in France. It was suggested by the sight of the space in Perugia once occupied by the Papal fortress known as Rocca Paolina, and now planted as a garden for the townspeople. He read Roman history and was passionately drawn to the French Revolution. Had he forgotten Villon's immortal ballade—in his wide reading he must have come across it—or did he deliberately postpone its throbbing directness to the semi-pagan artistry of Petrarch? Daphnis: mythical shepherd and poet, who is to be equated here with Theocritus of Syracuse (d. 260 b.c. … I have never understood why poets of Latin descent so greatly hate and insult the cicada. It resembles the verses of Anacreon (6th century b.c.) Sad because his one sincere note is, as De Lollis puts it, ‘la nota elegiaca dell'irremediabilmente svanito’. Aude: Roland's betrothed, Olivier's sister (see note 17 above). The modern age is simply unworthy of such a legacy, and Carducci petitions Febris, primitive deity of the city, to drive out its unworthy modern inhabitants and their works, allowing the goddess Rome to slumber on until a generation worthy of her (it is implied) restores to her the respect and love she deserves. All his writings clearly show this. Roland: paladin of Charlemagne, whose heroic defence of the rearguard of the Frankish army at Roncevaux against the Moors (778) is recorded in the. The last years of his life were sad. “Su l'Adda [“On the River Adda”] is mainly love poetry; nevertheless, the presence of Lydia does not destroy the voice of history that the landscape evokes in the poet's heart; in vain he has exclaimed: “Adieu, history of man.”, In “Presso l'Urna di P. B. Shelley” [“Close by Shelley's Grave”], however, the loving woman stands before the poet as a cherished being to whom he addresses a serene yet sorrowful discourse: “Lalage, I know what dream wells up from the bottom of thy heart.” The presence of the woman infuses the words of the poet with tenderness: “The present hour is in vain; it but strikes and flees; only in the past is beauty, only in death is truth.”. And as we have seen him and his young pedant friends combating romanticism as an irreverence done the great Italian classics, so it is perhaps not too fanciful to conceive him as rejecting Christianity partly as an irreverence to the local pagan divinities, whom, if he could not believe in, he loved and understood. Hebe: daughter of Zeus and Hera, goddess of perpetual youth. Carducci, like Meredith, loved her for her laws that are a guide to men. The poems in which the landscape plays a dominant role, regardless of the themes treated within, represent some of Carducci's most beautiful and enduring work.