CUTTLEFISH BONES – Eugenio Montale: “I am a man like any other, and nobody can be asked to be a hero”

A poetic collection published in 1925

The most northern of the villages that make up the Cinque Terre is that of Monterosso, divided into two parts by a 10-meter tunnel. Characterized by typical houses in various shades of pastel colors, the village is part of the Cinque Terre National Park. With its beauty, it has inspired artists and poets from all over the world, including Eugenio Montale, who spent part of his existence in what is now known as Villa Montale.

His father was a co-owner of a chemical products company, but he became a journalist and poet, Nobel Prize for literature in 1975. Eugenio Montale was born in Genoa in a building on the current Corso Dogali (area above Principe), on an October day 1896. Because of his precarious health, he followed the shorter technical studies instead of the classical ones, graduating in accounting, but he cultivated his literary interests, attending libraries and attending private philosophy lessons.

His training as a self-taught, allowed Eugenio Montale a creative path without conditioning, allowing him to cultivate intellectually writers and foreign languages, thus creating his imagery, even a panoramic one. On the Ligurian Riviera di Levante, Monterosso al Mare and the Cinque Terre delimited his vision of the world, full of private feelings and keen observation of Mediterranean nature.

In the year 1917, Eugenio Montale became infantry second lieutenant, fighting in the 158th Infantry Regiment. He also knew Anna degli Uberti (protagonist of many of his poems), as well as a young Peruvian who will also be present in his poetic collection Ossi di seppia. He signed the Manifesto of anti-fascist intellectuals in 1925, experiencing a pessimism that survived even after the advent of democracy. His latest collections of verses testify definitively to his ironic detachment from life. He died in Milan shortly before he turned 85. Buried in the cemetery next to the church of San Felice a Ema (Florence), he is waiting for you next to his wife.

NORTH WIND – And now the anxiety circles are gone who talked about the lake of the heart and that vast frying of matter that discolours and dies. Today an iron will blows the air, tears the shrubs, tears the palm trees and digs in the compressed sea large burr-ridged furrows. Every form is shaken in turmoil of the elements; it is a single scream, a mule of escaped existences: everything crashes the hour passes: the dome of the sky travels you do not know whether leaves or birds – and they are no longer. And you who all shakes you among the thuds of the unrestrained winds and tighten your swollen arms of unborn flowers; how you feel enemies the spirits that convulsed earth flying over swarms, my thin waist, and how you love your roots today.

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