THE POET IN HIS TENT: THE INFLUENCES OF GIUSEPPE UNGARETTI AND VITTORIO SERENI ON NELO RISI’S EARLY WORKS
L’Esperienza (Experience, 1948) can truly be considered the first stage of Nelo Risi’s (b. 1920) poetic career. However, this early work of his was poorly received when it first came out. Some poems of this collection were included in two later editions of a book by the title Polso Teso (Strained Wrist), in the section entitled Le Vacche Magre (Lean Cows). this editorial decision marked the author’s willingness to use his first real poetic work as the starting point of his solid and personally chosen literary journey. However, as a detailed analysis of L’Esperienza reveals, the lyrical onset of the author is still heavily influenced by the literary tradition. As a result, the first section of the book, La Tenda (The Tent), comprises elements borrowed from Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Il Porto Sepolto (The Buried Harbour) and Vittorio Sereni’s Diario d’Algeria (Algerian Diary). All of this is in stark contrast with the author’s actual aim, which is to distance himself from literature in order to embrace reality. In particular, the common topos of ‘tent’, which is a narrow and precarious space, becomes the sign of the poet’s permanent condition of imprisonment and also exile after the war. therefore, homecoming is a problematic occurrence because it is very difficult for the poet to return, to come back to himself and thus regain his primary identity.