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Giuseppe Ungaretti Writing Styles in Variations on Nothing

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Hermeticism is generally defined as intentional obscurity in modern poetry, meaning that the poet chooses private or esoteric symbols to represent a subject, rather than logical or direct expression of it. Hermetic poetry grew out of the French symbolist movement of the late nineteenth century, the most noted members of which included Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Arthur Rimbaud. Symbolists expressed the immediate sensations of human experience through subtle, suggestive, and highly metaphorical language, in the form of symbols. This style was a revolt against the realistic and naturalistic poetry of the time and was based on a belief that reality was internal and could only be suggested, not overtly described and labeled.

Hermeticism takes symbolism further, with deeper obscurity of meaning, a belief in the magical quality of single words, and the use of more truncated lines and images. Something that is "hermetically" sealed allows nothing to...

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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.