The Italian Almanac

Mario Luzi

Italian News - March 2

Thousands gathered in Florence Tuesday to honour the memory of Mario Luzi, considered one of the greatest Italian poets of the 20th century. The 90-year-old Luzi died at his home early Monday morning.

Born in Florence in 1914, Luzi studied French literature. In the 1930s he began publishing poetry, inspired by the "hermetic school" that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. The movement was characterized by unorthodox structure, illogical sequences and subjective language.

In addition to publishing poetry collections, Luzi was an essayist, writing about French poet Stéphane Mallarmé and Italian poets Dante and Giovanni Pascoli. He also taught French literature at the University of Florence.

Last October, the Italian Parliament named Luzi a senator-for-life. Despite being considered Italy's most likely candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Luzi never attained the honour.