Set against the chequered background of Rome, the city of the six Ps – Pope, priests, princes, prostitutes, parasites and the poor – Belli’s sometimes scandalous sonnets deal with life’s elementals: love, death, sex, food, money, family, religion and politics.
In his immense oeuvre, sampled here in a sizeable and varied selection of the best poems, people from every course and manner of life have their say – housewives, mothers, beggars, lovers, businessmen, popes, whores, doctors, thieves, lawyers, priests, pen-pushers, actresses, gossips and many more. Their voices and preoccupations are brilliantly and accurately rendered in this dual-language volume by prize-winning novelist and poet Mike Stocks, one of the finest sonneteers of our day.
The great master of the dialect and a scholarly recorder of the filth and blasphemy.
The author of a monumental collection of sonnets, Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (1791–1863) is the greatest poet to have written in the Roman dialect, and is regarded as one of the finest Italian poets of the nineteenth century.