Milo De Angelis, born in 1951, is one of the most important living Italian poets. With this volume, Susan Stewart and Patrizio Ceccagnoli bring to English readers for the first time a facing-page edition of his most recent work: his book-length elegy, Theme of Farewell, and the subsequent poems of That Wandering in the Darkness of Courtyards. These two books form a sequence narrating the illness and premature death, in 2003, of the poet’s wife, the writer Giovanna Sicari, a celebrated poet in her own right; they also trace De Angelis’s turn from grief, through time, back to the world. Immediate, perceptive, and woven from the fabric of everyday life in contemporary Milan, the poems never depart from universal human emotions of despair and awakening. Throughout his long career, De Angelis has renewed lyric poetry with the sheer intensity of his forms and insights, and the volumes offered here have won some of the most important Italian literary awards, including the coveted Premio Viareggio.
These inexorable and beautifully crafted translations will be of interest to scholars of contemporary Italian literature, students of contemporary poetry and literary translation, and those who work in comparative literature. Above all, they are bound to speak to any reader in search of a poet writing at the height of his powers of expression.