Ten memorable works to understand poetry

Between the structure of modern lyricism and poetry from the antiquity, the energy of silence and word keep flowing, despite claims that after Auschwitz, lyricism was impossible. How can one choose ten poems among the almost infinite sequence of poems that create something from the fugitive, from the sacred or from the nothing? From Pindarus to Rilke, from Garcilaso to Baudelaire, any choice is a risk. Here are the ten poems of my big gamble.


Hymnen an die Nacht
(Hymns to the night)



Darkness, gloom, clouds: an entire Christian mystical tradition worked on these negative images with a positive sense. It is in this tradition that the Hymns can be located, although they mean a re-elaboration of contents: the feeling of pleasure sinks here with negativeness. The third hymn, when the poet stands before Sophie’s tomb, his lover, the vision and the sleep transfigure the landscape, that will be an unavoidable reference for the other great hymn at night, i.e. the second act of Wagner’s Tristan.