1970 Neustadt Laureate - Giuseppe Ungaretti
"Thanks to Giuseppe Ungaretti and his work, Italian poetry early in this century regained a universality of language through which have found exemplary expression the innermost anguish, dreams, and hopes of modern man."—Luciano Rebay, "Encomium for Giuseppe Ungaretti" (Books Abroad Vol. 44, Autumn 1970)
Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) was born in Alexandria, Egypt into an Italian family, where he was educated in French and began working as a journalist and literary critic. Ungaretti moved to Paris in 1912, but enlisted in the infantry in World War I and fought in the trenches in Northern Italy. World War I served as the catalyst for Ungaretti's venture into poetry, and he published his first collection of poetry in 1916. Among his many affiliations, Ungaretti's works were influenced by Dadaism, Hermeticism (of which he helped to revoluntionize in the 1930s), Symbolism, and Futurism, among others.
In his essay titled "Homage to Giuseppe Ungaretti Introduction: The Old Captain's Last Voyage," Ivar Ivask praises Ungaretti, saying, "The present issue praises the poet for his original achievement and mourns the disappearance of an extraordinary human being from our midst: an almost equally grave loss for those who had the privilege to have been his friends of a lifetime and for those who knew him but a few years, months, or even days. For future friends, the man will be the poetry" (Books Abroad, Autumn 1970).
Ungaretti's books of poetry include L'allegria ("The Joy," 1931), Sentimento del tempo ("The Feeling of Time," 1933), Un grido e paesaggi ("A Shout and Landscapes," 1952), and Vita di un uomo (1969; tr. The Life of a Man, New Directions Press, 1958).
1970 Neustadt Jurors and Finalists
NEUSTADT PRIZE 1970
|Piero Bigongiari (Italy)||Conrad Aiken (USA)|
|J. P. Clark (Nigeria)||John Berryman (USA)|
|Frank Kermode (Great Britain)||Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)|
|Jan Kott (USA)||Edward Brathwaite (Barbados)|
|Juan Marichal (USA)||Hans Magnus Enzensberger (West Germany)|
|Gaëtan Picon (France)||Graham Greene (England)|
|A. K. Ramanujan (India/USA)||Jorge Guillén (Spain)|
|Allen Tate (USA)||Zbigniew Herbert (Poland)|
|Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)||Pierre-Jean Jouve (France)|
|Andrei Voznesensky (USSR)||Pablo Neruda (Chile)|
|Heinrich Böll (Germany)||Francis Ponge (France)|
|Alexander Solzhenitsyn (USSR)|
|Giuseppe Ungaretti (Italy)|