Literary Islands: Salvatore Quasimodo


If I could take only one emblematic book with me from Sicily, I’d defiantly choose Salvatore Quasimodo’s complete poetical works.

One of Sicily’s Primo Nobel’s in Literature, Quasimodo illustrates all the colours of his native island. His lifetime’s work, themes and forms span from: sparse expressive poetry, experimental pieces, poems inspired by mythology, politically charged works, recollections from childhood, melancholic epigrams, migrant experience, translation of ancient Greek lyrics, sketches, observations and philosophy of his beloved Sicily.


Quasimodo’s poetical world is melancholic, tinged with emotions like regret, fueled by themes such as love and death. He creates a natural world which is as tangible as any physical object.

Reading Quasimodo is a visceral experience, his poetry is engulfed by the sensual, each body part reaching out to create a connection between the language and the reader. He can paint the emotions of a certain time and place in a few vivid…

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