Italian Poetry to 1800

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Provide an analysis of Uguccione da Lodi's poem "Il Libro."    

In Uguccione da Lodi's poem "Il Libro," the speaker looks back on his life and anticipates what consequences he'll face for his sins. Da Lodi has a Catholic perspective on the creation and corruption of the world. Because of his religious themes and ideas, the poem is considered a work of religious propaganda. It is remembered for its contributions to the beginning of Italian poetry but criticized for its monotonous tone and disorganized ideas.

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“Il Libro” (The Book) is an Italian poem from the thirteenth century. It was written by Uguccione da Lodi, who is believed to have come from Cremona, since the poem is written in Venetian, not Lombard.

“Il Libro” consists of 702 verses in which the speaker is looking back on his life and sins and anticipating what the consequences will be. The poem deals with several religious themes and gives readers a preview of what life is like after death, with an emphasis on how painful hell will be for sinners. The poem provides a Catholic perspective on the creation of the world and the corruption in human society and is regarded as a work of religious propaganda. While “Il Libro” is considered an important record of Italian history and culture and is remembered for its spiritual attitude and religious lyrics, it is not regarded as a great poem. Da Lodi used a monotonous tone throughout the work and failed to connect his verses and adequately develop his themes.

In 1920, the literary scholar Ezio Levi wrote a book entitled Uguccione da Lodi, E I Primordi Della Poesi Italiana (Uguoccione da Lodi and the Beginnings of Italian Poetry). In this book, Levi critiqued “Il Libro” and several other works by da Lodi but preserved his legacy by explaining his important contributions to Italian poetry. Levi wrote, “The gravest and most profound defect of ‘Il Libro’ is the disorder of ideas.”

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