Synopses & Reviews
"The splendid Milanese poet Luciano Erba, represented here by a selection from his entire oeuvre, is a strong Italian modernist largely unknown in America, translated extremely well by Peter Robinson."--Richard Howard, series editor of the Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation and author of Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003
"For the first time, Peter Robinson makes available in marvelously attuned English translations a generous, judicious, and well-balanced offering of Luciano Erba's poetry from the 1960s to the present. One of the most distinctive voices in Italian poetry of the second half of the twentieth century, Erba merits the attention of English-language readers who will be fortunate to encounter this substantial bilingual collection of his witty, engaging, understated, and refreshingly original verse. The translations are accurate, carefully crafted, and in harmony with the idiom and spirit of the originals."--John P. Welle, University of Notre Dame
"Erba's ironic, autobiographical, and imaginative verse deserves to be translated into English. Peter Robinson's fluid translations convey the originality and antirhetorical freshness of Erba's intense, pantheistic vision. And his selection introduces readers to the full spectrum of Erba's long career."--Gaetana Marrone, Princeton University
Winner of the 2008 John Florio Prize for Italian Translation
Luciano Erba's poems discover in the details of everyday life--a cream-colored tie, an old book, a swallow--access to far-reaching mysteries, including the fact of our being here at all. One of Italy's most important contemporary poets, Erba is approachable yet complex, distinctively and artfully combining traditional and informal means in his brief lyrics. He turns a cool eye on the passing scene, allowing us to see life in a new light.
This bilingual edition contains the most comprehensive and representative selection of Erba's poetry ever published in English. Distinguished British poet and translator Peter Robinson, working with the encouragement and advice of the author, has rendered accurate and elegant English translations of the facing-page Italian originals.
Complete with a preface, introduction, and notes, this is an ideal introduction to a unique and compelling modern Italian poet.
About the Author
Luciano Erba was born in Milan in 1922 and is the author of numerous books of poetry and a short-story collection. Peter Robinson is a renowned British poet, translator, and critic whose books include "Twentieth Century Poetry: Selves and Situations" and a forthcoming collection of interviews, "Talk about Poetry: Conversations on the Art".
Table of Contents
Translator's Preface ix
The Poetry of Luciano Erba 1
from Il nastro di Moebius / The Moebius Strip (1980) 7
Mi sento le guance di cartone / I feel my cheeks as pasteboard 8
from Gradus ad (Early Poems) 11