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Variations on Nothing Criticism

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Ungaretti's poetry has been critically acclaimed as a turning point in twentieth-century Italian literature. He and his fellow hermetic poets dared to break away from the traditional European style of long lines, embellished imagery, and certain themes to embrace a more personal, constricted form of writing. As a result, readers were both challenged and pleased by the unusual brevity and intriguing mystery of their work.

Even among the hermetic group, Ungaretti is often lauded as most true to form. In his introduction to the poet's 1958 collection Life of a Man, critic Allen Mandelbaum claims that "no Italian poet since Leopardi has held so fast as Ungaretti has to the dignity of the word, its specific gravity, musical and emotional." And in the introduction to the 2002 collection, Selected Poems, critic Andrew Frisardi says about Ungaretti's early collection, Joy of Shipwrecks, that the "poetry was as new, strange, and, for...

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This section contains 269 words
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Poetry for Students
Variations on Nothing from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.