Acclaiming the late Eugenio Montale (1897-1981) as “one of the most important poets of the contemporary West,” the Swedish Academy awarded him the 1975 Nobel Prize for Literature. This selection, introduced by Glauco Cambon, presents sixty-nine poems chosen from Montale’s first three books––Ossi di seppia (Cuttlefish Bones), Le occasioni (The Occasions), and La bufera e altro (The Storm and Other Things)––as rendered by sixteen translators, many of them distinguished poets in their own right.
One of the great artistic sensibilities of our time.
— Jonathan Galassi
Eugenio Montale is an ideal recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature: a writer preeminent in his own country whose values are simple and universal.
— London Times Literary Supplement
What Montale has stood for throughout his long life is above all intelligence and what he calls ‘decenza quotidiana.’ He may be classified as a lyric poet––and as the finest of Italian lyric poets since Leopardi––but he is also a poet for whom intelligence matters more than sentiment, and common decency more than any high-flown political or metaphysical allegiance. Montale is in this respect a contradiction: a wonderfully varied and resourceful poet who holds essentially prosaic values.