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Sandro Penna: Within the Sweet Noise of Life. Selected Poems

Widely considered to be among the most important Italian poets of the twentieth century, Sandro Penna was born and raised in Perugia but spent most of his life in Rome.

Openly gay, Penna wrote verses celebrating homosexual love with lyrical elegance.

His writing alternates between whimsy and melancholia, but it is always full of light.

Juggling traditional Italian prosody and subject matter with their gritty urban opposites in taut, highly concentrated poems, Penna’s lyrics revel in love and the eruption of Eros together with the extraordinary that can be found within simple everyday life.

There is something ancient in Penna’s poetry, and something Etruscan or Greek about the poems, though the landscape is most often of Rome: sensual yet severe, sinuous yet solid, inscrutable, intangible and languorous, with a Sphinx-like and sun-soaked smile.

Penna’s city is eternal—a mythically decadent Rome that brings to mind Paris or Alexandria. And though the echoes resound—from Rimbaud, Verlaine, Baudelaire to Leopardi, D’Annunzio, Cavafy—the voice is always undeniably and wonderfully Penna’s own.

Sandro Penna (1906–77) was an Italian poet. During his life, he was awarded two of Italy’s most important literary awards, the Premio Viareggio and the Premio Bagutta. His work has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish, and has appeared in numerous anthologies of Italian poetry.

Alexander Booth is a writer and translator and the recipient of a 2012 PEN Translation Fund grant for his translations of Lutz Seiler.

Sandro Penna
Within the Sweet Noise of Life
Selected Poems
Translated by Alexander Booth
ISBN: 9780857427878
Format: Hardback
Pages: 96
Rights: UCP
Publication Year: March 2021
Size: 5″ x 8.5″
Publisher: Seagull Books
$19.00

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