The Sunken Keep

Il Porto Sepolto was written in the trenches of northern Italy while Giuseppe Ungaretti was serving as a private in the Italian army ; when the collection was published in Udine in 1916, it changed Italian poetry. Part of its impact was due to the influence of Japanese poetry, which Ungaretti had recently encountered in Italian translation. In his introduction, Irish poet and Tokyo resident Andrew Fitzsimons explores the nature and history of Ungaretti’s engagement with Japanese poetics; the book also includes sixteen vibrant illustrations by another Tokyo resident, the renowned Italian artist Sergio Maria Calatroni. This is the only complete translation into English of the Udine first edition: the poems of a ‘man present at his own / fragility’ that spoke to their moment, and continue to speak one hundred years later.

Translated by Andrew Fitzsimons, and with sixteen colour illustrations by Sergio Maria Calatroni.

‘The Sunken Keep, in the hands of Andrew Fitzsimons, approaches the poetry of the inexpressible which Giuseppe Ungaretti sought. In these austere versions, matched by the dramatic artwork of Sergio Maria Calatroni, the reader is taken along the edge of an abyss: at turns a sea coast, a frontline trench in WW1, an uninhabited universe. Once read and absorbed Ungaretti’s translucent poems will remain forever. – Gerald Dawe, Trinity College Dublin

This is a book to keep close to hand. Not only are the translations very powerful but the drawings by Sergio Maria Calatroni have a resonance which complement the poems.’ Ian Brinton on the Discover War Poets web site run by the English Association in the UK. Click here to read the full review.

Click here to read some excerpts from this book.

September 2017, 78 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 in / 216 x 140 mm, ISBN 978-4-907359-22-5

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