Lucio Piccolo Thomas G. Bergin - Essay

Thomas G. Bergin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If readers, confronting the verses now assembled in this appealing book [Collected Poems of Lucio Piccolo] are a little troubled about "placing" Piccolo's verse, they may console themselves with the thought that they are in good company, for Montale [author of the volume's "Afterword"] was somewhat uncertain as to the masters Piccolo may have learned from, groping among such native names as D'Annunzio, Campana and Pea, pondering such possible foreign paternities as Yeats and Hopkins. To this company Leonardo Sciascia, a shrewd critic, adds Jorge Guillén. Had I the temerity to intrude my own impression, I would say that, reading Piccolo's lines, I am occasionally reminded of the sensitive lyrics of Giuseppe Villaroel, yet another Sicilian (and roughly contemporary), all but forgotten since his death in 1956. (pp. 228-29)

Piccolo is not always easy to understand … but I think, in substance, what we find in his verses is a contemplation of nature, richly embellished by personal association, observed religiously but with some skepticism, seen at once as unstable and eternal. Piccolo does not indulge to any great extent in the study of his fellow man, he has no "social message," nor does he (or so it seems to me) contemplate, save obliquely, his own Angst (wherein he differs from the hermetics). His report on what he sees is voiced in musical and artful cadences, in metrical and rhythmic patterns that can hardly be called...

(The entire section is 472 words.)