Monday, December 17, 2012

Mario Luzi

Mario Luzi (1914—2005) is one of Italy’s best-known modern poets. His first book of poetry La Barca (The Boat) was published in 1935, and his final book L'avventura Della Dualità (The Adventure of Duality) appeared in 2003. He taught for years at the Universities of Florence and Urbino, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991.

He is, according to Dana Gioia, “the Italian modernist whom I consider the greatest Catholic poet of the twentieth century.”

The following exerpt is from the book Phrases and Passages of a Salutary Song, translated by Luigi Bonaffini. Within this poem there is a section about the magi, and another about the shepherds. Whose voice this section of the poem is in, is not clear.

from Genia (from the section “Collapse and Overflow”)

Don’t remain hidden
in your omnipresence. Show yourself,
they want to tell him, but don’t dare.
The burning bush reveals him,
but it is also his
impenetrable hiding place.
And then the incarnation — he takes refuge
from his eternity under human
eaves, he descends
into the most tender womb
toward man, into man...yes,
but the son of man in whom he blazes
manifests him and conceals him...
So they advance in their history.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: