Salvatore Quasimodo

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

Salvatore Quasimodo Biography

Salvatore Quasimodo was born in Sicily. He studied Greek and Latin from the age of twenty and became a professor of literature in Milan. He translated Shakespeare and Greek lyric poetry. Between 1930 and 1938 he was the leader of the Hermetic school of ‘poesia pura’.

In 1908 his family moved to Messina, as his father had been sent there to help the population struck by a devastating earthquake. The impressions of the effects of natural forces would have a great impact on the young Quasimodo. In 1919 he graduated from the local Technical College. In Messina he also made friends with Giorgio La Pira, future mayor of Florence.

In 1917 Quasimodo founded the short-lived Nuovo giornale letterario ("New Literary Journal"), in which he published his first poems. In 1919 he moved to Rome to f ...

Salvatore Quasimodo Comments

sahib 27 November 2018

enemy of death explanation

1 1 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 18 October 2015

Ungaretti, Quasimodo and Montale: 3 great poets - the greatest Italian poets of XX century..

58 0 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 20 August 2013

May his soul rest in peace O great master

11 1 Reply

The Best Poem Of Salvatore Quasimodo

Enemy Of Death

(For Rossana Sironi)

You should not have
ripped out your image
taken from us, from the world,
a portion of beauty.
What can we do
we enemies of death,
bent to your feet of rose,
your breast of violet?
Not a word, not a scrap
of your last day, a No
to earth’s things, a No
to our dull human record.
The sad moon in summer,
the dragging anchor, took
your dreams, hills, trees,
light, waters, darkness,
not dim thoughts but truths,
severed from the mind
that suddenly decided,
time and all future evil.
Now you are shut
behind heavy doors
enemy of death.


Who cries?
You have blown out beauty
with a breath, torn her,
dealt her the death-wound,
without a tear
for her insensate shadow’s
spreading over us.
Destroyed solitude,
and beauty, failed.
You have signalled
into the dark,
inscribed your name in air,
your No
to everything that crowds here
and beyond the wind.
I know what you were
looking for in your new dress.
I understand the unanswered question.
Neither for you nor us, a reply.
Oh, flowers and moss,
Oh, enemy of death.

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