Lucio Piccolo Helen Barolini - Essay

Helen Barolini

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Perhaps no poet of so scant acknowledgement in his lifetime and so little actual poetry has been so well served in the mere six years since his death as Lucio Piccolo with the appearance of his Collected Poems…. (p. 194)

Piccolo's poems … show time suspended, static, being held onto and re-evoked in resonances and touches—l'ore sospese, l'ombre dei giorni—these figures of time and substances held indefinitely in consciousness recur and recur. But everything about Piccolo is strange, mysterious, improbable, full of the turns and twists of chance. And irony. (pp. 195-96)

Piccolo's poetry carries the weight of … melancholy, [of] austerity of sentiment, [of the] seedy magnificence which is Sicily. (p. 200)

But still the Mediterranean sun shines through the poetry of the recluse. And in this constant counterpart of sun and night, light and dark, there is omnipresent the eternal Sicilian theme. Piccolo's poetry is full of the melancholy of illusion, of loneliness and despair, and, at the same time, shot through with the language of light and sun …, and the enchantment of sea spaces and nature. (p. 201)

His poetry, at its finest and most moving, seems to tremble on the brink of discovery of another way of life, as if he were pushing at the shadows that separate him from it…. He speaks of revived echoes, the sob drawn from him, the voice which binds one to...

(The entire section is 451 words.)