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Selected Poems and Related Prose

Selected Poems and Related Prose

F. T. Marinetti
Selected by Luce Marinetti
Elizabeth R. Napier
Barbara R. Studholme
With an essay by Paolo Valesio
Copyright Date: 2002
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Selected Poems and Related Prose
    Book Description:

    F. T. Marinetti (1876-1944) is widely known as the founder of Futurism, an early twentieth-century cultural revolution that began as a literary movement and expanded to influence painters, musicians, dramatists, architects, and graphic artists throughout the world. This volume, a translation of more than forty poems and prose works by Marinetti, presents premier examples of his rich poetic creations, many for the first time in English. The collection has been selected by Luce Marinetti to represent the entire span of the poet's career, and it includes works originally written in either French or Italian, Marinetti's two primary languages.The volume begins with Marinetti's early lyrical works, poems that exemplify styles and themes that he later reacted against in his own manifestos. It continues with his poems of battle, in which Marinetti used the language of machines and explosions to express his view of poetry as reportage from the front; "Words in Freedom," in which he declared war on poetry by destroying syntax and spelling and by experimenting with typography; and finally love poems to his wife, Benedetta, in which he returned in part to subjects and forms that he had previously rejected. The volume includes a prefatory biography of Marinetti written by Luce Marinetti, as well as a critical review by Paolo Valesio of Marinetti's accomplishment as a poet.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16378-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    Luce Marinetti
  4. Translating Marinetti
    (pp. xv-xxii)
    Elizabeth R. Napier and Barbara R. Studholme

    In translating Marinetti, we have exercised a degree of restraint that, given the tenor of the original works, may appear somewhat incongruous. From the flamboyantConquête des Etoilesto the “liberated” verse ofZang toumb toumbandLes Mots en liberté futuristes, Marinetti’s impulse seems to be toward expansion and freedom, toward an enfranchisement of language in which the translator ought to be able to share. Yet in the end neither hyperbole (the exclamatory tone and insistent battle theme ofConquête) nor its opposite, succinctness and a programmatic destruction of syntactic order (as demonstrated inZang toumb toumbandLes...

  5. The Old Sailors (1898)
    (pp. 1-4)
  6. The Conquest of the Stars Epic Poem (1902)
    (pp. 5-18)
  7. Destruction Lyric Poems (1904)
    (pp. 19-24)
  8. The Sensual City (1908)
    (pp. 25-40)
  9. The Pope’s Monoplane Political Novel in Free Verse (1912)
    (pp. 41-54)
  10. Zong Toomb Toomb Adrianople October 1912 Words in Freedom (1912–1913; published in Italian 1914)
    (pp. 55-82)
  11. Futurist Words in Freedom (1919)
    (pp. 83-124)

    Futurism, born in Milan eleven years ago, has influenced the entire universe through thousands of exhibitions, meetings, and concerts, and has created innumerable different Futurisms in response to the needs of different circles. Every circle has its own kind of passéism, an oppressive, pernicious passéism that must be destroyed. Futurism has been understood in all the European and American capitals and has become the springboard for important spiritual revolutions everywhere. In Italy it has long been slandered and hounded by reactionary, clerical, moralistic, pedantic, and conservative forces. It is emerging from this battle more powerful than ever.

    The Futurist movement...

  12. After Words in Freedom (ca. 1924–1928)
    (pp. 125-132)

    After words in freedom, fusedwords in freedom. After having liberated words from from verse and syntax we must fuse them to carry thought and sensibility in the wheel of simultaneity.

    Create fusions of 2 3 or 4 words


    Simultaneous blocks








    The poem of fusedwords should continue the lines of the hand on the page.

    The poem will be printed with the lines of the hand on the page and the fusedwords (or simultaneous words) should run along the lines of the hand reproduced on the page.

    a sea star

    that looks like...

  13. Poems to Beny (1920–1938; published 1971)
    (pp. 133-142)
  14. Notes on the Poems
    (pp. 143-148)
  15. “The Most Enduring and Most Honored Name”: Marinetti as Poet
    (pp. 149-166)
    Paolo Valesio

    What, essentially, was Futurism? An explosion of youth—youth with its obvious virtues (boldness, vitality, freshness) and with its less obvious but equally important defects (violence, dogmatism, superficiality). As usual, poets and other artists understood this before scholars realized it.¹

    Another answer: Futurism was the cultural movement whose affirmation, ironically, has been the strongest obstacle to an adequate recognition of the artistic and intellectual achievement of its founder, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. His devotion to the movement has blurred the profile of his own artistic personality.² The moment has come to redress the balance, to bring Marinetti back to center stage...

  16. Original Texts of the Poems
    (pp. 167-250)