|Book cover, Copyright © 2013 Alessandro Baruffi ISBN: 978-1-304-03092-4|
Today, Umberto Saba (pseudonym of Umberto Poli, 1883–1957) is widely recognized as one of the most prominent European poets of the 20th century. Born in the cosmopolitan port town of Trieste, under the Austro-Hungarian rule, in his youth, Saba struggled with hardship and poverty. After quitting his commercial studies, he joined the mercantile marine, and later the army, enlisting in the infantry regiment. While Saba successfully published his work for over three decades enjoying very favorable reception by critics, he remained an outsider to the Italian literary establishment. Following anti-Semitic laws and persecution, he migrated to Paris, returning to Italy only in 1943, where he remained under cover until the end of World War II. His verses, tinged with melancholy and filled with compassion for the world's misery, are expressed in a language characterized by a sophisticated simplicity: light and rich of everyday words, yet musical and profound in poetic effect.