New verse translation, bilingual edition, annotated
Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) is Italy's greatest poet since Dante, and one of the first modern thinkers of the West. The Cantos is his unfinished masterpiece, whose grim lyricism fuses a rare poetic genius with an unwavering moral conscience.
Rooted in the ancients and the Enlightenment, Leopardi developed a lucid directness that influenced creative minds from Nietzsche to Calvino, from Beckett to Fellini. His poems have the presence of sculpture, speaking with a passionate honesty that only becomes more relevant every day.
This edition presents the original dedications and prefaces to the Cantos for the first time in English, and its extensive notes include several early sketches not previously published outside Italy. The scrupulous, deft rhyming translation by Aaron Jacob Spatz recreates the urgency and artistry of these masterful poems, at last securing the "untranslatable" Leopardi a vital presence in the English language.