1. Nineteenth-century roots
It is not possible to speak of twentieth-century dialect poetry of Trentino without a brief mention of the late nineteenth-century situation. It was at this time, in fact, that a new poetic season began which would influence all of the poetry of Trentino in the twentieth century.
After the splendor of eighteenth and early nineteenth-century poetry with the poets of Rovereto (in the eighteenth century don Giuseppe Felice Givani, don Giacomo Antonio Turrati and Giovanni Di Dio Galvagni; in the nineteenth don Domenico Zanolli), the axis of poetic output shifts to Trento and Valle di Non. The physician Giovanni Battista Garzetti (Trento 1872-Venice 1839) was the first to begin a renewal of poetry, which had been almost exclusively the preserve of the clergy for half a century, by making it "secular" and introducing elements of disquieting modernity for the times, especially with regard to the many social and moral ties binding women to the family. A few years later, a great modernity and profane vision of the world is introduced in Valle di Non also by Pietro Tommaso Scaramuzza (Cles 1818-Trento 1883) and, above all, by Bortol Sicher (Còredo 1846-1884), perhaps the greatest poet of Trento of all time, but not well known because of his use of a dialect of Ladin origin, practically incomprehensible outside the valley.
Just before Sicher's death, Valle di Non gave birth to Guglielmo Bertagnoli Sanzeno 1881-Storo 1917), who was not only a great poet, but a historian of the valley as well.
All the elements to give ever greater substance to the dialect poetry of Trentino are already present, and it will be up to three poets from Trento, whose work continues even today, after almost a century, to find followers and acceptance and even the benevolent judgment of critics. They are Bepi Mor (Trento-1853-1923) and Vittorio Felini (Trento 1862-1920) who, being of humble origin, would finally give a literary voice to the people; and a young man from the middle class who would engage in an open-minded and absorbing play with dialect, Carlo Nani (Trento1865-Graz, Austria, 1916).
They are the ones who initiated the best-known part of Trentino's literary history and their way of writing has influenced the subject matter and the style of the dialect poetry of Trentino almost to the present day.
2. Austrian Domination
Perhaps, given Trentino's atypical situation in the early twentieth century, it might be useful to trace briefly the cultural and institutional history of this period, remembering first of all that when the first poets of Trentino began writing, Trento was not Italian yet, because Austrian domination ended only in 1918. For this reason, not of small importance, in the sentiments of the most cultured and socially engaged part of the people of Trento there prevailed, whether or not it was manifested, a longing for the far homeland or the least for the impossibility to recognize themselves in an Italian, not Austrian, model.
Trento's condition at the start of the century and until 1918 was one of institutional and political division that often involved the family itself, between those who backed or at least tolerated the order established and imposed by the Austrian authorities, and those who did not support or tolerate this order. It would suffice to recall that Guglielmo Bertagnoli died in 1917 in Storo, lower Trentino, as an officer of the Italian army, while in the same period his father was a high officer of the Austrian army. Everyone remembers the hero Damiano Chiesa of Rovereto, executed by the Austrians for desertion in 1916, while his cousin Guido, who became one Trentino's major playwrights, both in dialect and Italian (a close friend of Diego Fabbri), was a volunteer with Austria and devoted to the Austrian cause.
At the time there were also sharp clashes of opposite sides, especially the Catholic on the one hand and the liberal and socialist on the other, the former defending the status quo and the latter looking for the new, especially for a radical institutional change. the poet Giuseppe Mor had given voice to the secular and liberal Trento, while the poet Vittorio Felini was the spokesman of Catholic moderates and conservatives. Carlo Nai was irredentista and exiled for his patriotic intemperance to Trieste, where he spent almost all the rest of his rather short life. He died in 1916 during his confinement in Graz, Austria, after being discharged from the Austrian army because he was gravely ill.
Nevertheless, notwithstanding the difficulty of communicating with Italy and its poets, the poets of Trento sought these contacts even before the Great War of 1915-18, not only in order to come out of the insolation in which they worked, but also because the new in dialect poetry came from the south, certainly not from the north. There were various attempts on the part of the Trento poets already known at the start of the century or who were beginning to write then to overcome their cultural isolation. Giuseppe Mor got in touch with Trilussa and Berto Barbarani, an Trilussa came to Trento for an evening of great poetry held no less at the Teatro Sociale in 1903, with almost a thousand people present. Berto Barbarani became a friend of the poet and historian Antonio Pranzelores (Trento 1880-1940) and of Vittorio Felini, and he went to Trentino for evenings of dialect poetry on several occasions until Antonio Pranzelores' death.
3. The first contacts with Italy
After Liberation, there were the attempts, for the most part successful, by the poet Giacomo Floriani (Riva del Garda 1889-1968) to "come out of Trentino" with his first poems, some of which were published by various papers between 1922 and 1924, from the Illustrazione del Popolo of Turin to the Gazzettino of Venice. But it is necessary to reflect on this period, in order to see what took place until the Thirties.
The contacts with Italy in those years are not only mere attempts, but are also one-sided attempts, namely from Trentino towards the rest of Italy and not vice versa. It was the poets of Trentino who strived to call the attention of Italian culture to themselves, and Italian culture answered, when it did answer, in an intermittent and occasional way. Or it did not answer at all.
If this isolation of Trento's dialect culture from the rest of Italy could have some motivations before the Great War and thus before Trentino's annexation to the motherland such motivations should have disappeared after 1918 with the fall of borders, with the full and free use of the Italian language and the Trento dialect not openly thwarted before, but certainly not favored. In reality, things did not go that way. Even after the annexation, in fact, Trento's dialect culture was unable to create concrete and stable contacts with the "rest of Italy." The few poets still active after the war were barely able to maintain the contacts already established, but there was a lack of new opportunities.
Moreover, he situation after the war was totally precarious. Vittorio Felini - treated at length in the section dedicated to him - died in 1920; Giuseppe Mor in 1923, and they did not leave noteworthy heirs. Guglielmo Bertagnoli, born in 1881, died in 1917, when only thirty-six, and this was the loss that the region's dialect poetry felt the most, because Trentino would have to wait almost fifty years for a poetry of that caliber, until the appearance of Marco Pola and Arcadio Borgogna in particular.
The period that follows the death of Giuseppe Mor in 1923, the last of the so-called "fathers of the dialect of Trentino," is a very difficult one for the dialect poetry of the region. It is a period practically without poets, and it would remain that way for at least ten years, if one excludes Giacomo Florini, whose poetic presence was still uncertain until 1928 (the year of his first book) and Antonio Pranzelores (1880-1940), who in his whole life wrote only twelve dialect poems.
4. Signs of the new
The period of the first, faint reawakening of dialect poetry after the Great War can be set towards the Thirties. In that period Teresa degli Alessandrini began to write interesting poems: she was born in Trento in 1871 and died in 1940. During the period between the first and second world wars she won several contests, did not publish anything on her own, but appeared in a small anthology in 1936.Around the Thirties Livio Tissot becomes fully active, though he had written his first poems in 1918 and 1919, when he was in the army in Rome and Viterbo). Livio Tissot is the first poet of eastern Trentino, and wrote in the far from easy - and never before written - dialect of the valley of Cismon. A student of his dialect, he would give Trentino not only respectable poems, but also a very good dictionary of the speech of his valley. His period of greatest activity began in 1928/30 and continued till 1970. He published a book of poems in 1965.
The last poet of the century, who however began to write only in his later years, is Mario Alneri, who was born in Cles (Valle di Non) in 1899 and died in Novara in 1963. With a degree in literature, he taught in Piedmontese high schools. He spent his summers in Trentino, where he discovered his popular poetic vein, rooted in nostalgia and memory. His poems appeared only in journals and newspapers.
We have thus reached 1900, and from now one we will speak only with poets born in this century who began to write and publish poems around the Thirties or later.
5. Between the two wars
The brief revival of the Thirties was also due to two young men from Trento, who in time would reveal a more than respectable talent. The first is Italo Alberti, who was born in Trento in 1902 and died there in 1973. He was a difficult and irritable poet with few friends. With an independent and at times rebellious character, he put instead a great deal of delicacy in his poetry. An expert on his Trento dialect, he never published anything himself, but his complete works appeared in 1975, edited by his close friend Gino De Mozzi, the author of a beautiful collection of the proverbs of Trentino.
Another poet who published his first poems in journals and newspapers in those years was Umberto Cattani, who died in Trento in 1910 and died there in 1993. Umberto Cattani also, though he had been writing since 1930, published his first book only in 1978, but with the inclusion of his early poems. In 1992 he began to gather all his material to publish his collected works, which came out in 1993, the same year of his death, and he never saw the work published..
It is interesting to note how immediately after the Thirties dialect poetry attracted even Nedda Falzogher (Trento 1906-1956), one of the highest voices of the Poetry of Trentino in Italian of all time and also known nationally. Nedda Falzogher made a very small contribution, only three poems, but important not only for their quality, but also for the example that she wanted to give by using "the language of the people," that was already encountering the first obstacle with fascist rhetoric. She was a good friend of Marco Pola and all the most important men of culture of her time. Her house was a true literary parlor. A victim of polio at an early age, she died immobilized in a wheelchair.
In these precarious conditions, the heaviest burden of the dialect poetry of Trentino rested for the moment on the shoulders of the aforementioned Giacomo Floriani, not a prolific poet, but methodical. In 1928 his friend Riccardo Maroni, an industrial engineer and a man of great culture and sensibility, published his first book of poems, Fiori de montagna, to be followed in time by another four, all published by Maroni, who later assembled all his works in one volume in 1982.
The "harvest" then is still minimal in this stage between the wars, but the new seed is ripening, which would bring the great fruits of the best dialect poetry of Trentino of all time, beginning in the Sixties and continuing to the present day.
The major exponent were, as we mentioned briefly before, Marco Pola and Arcadio Borgogno in particular. The former was born in Trento in 1906 and died there in 1991, and the latter was born in Borgo Valsuganain 1914 and died in Trento in 1977. These two poets will be dealt with at length in the section dedicated to them.
6. New perspectives for the dialect poetry of Trentino
The rebirth of the dialect poetry of Trentino is tied to what happened in the Sixties, when Marco Pola published his first books of dialect poetry (he had begun as a poet in Italian), and when the first poems of Arcadio Borgogno are made known. They are the undisputed originators of the excellent season of poetry in Trentino that developed in those years, and in whose wake other poets would follow, who will constitute the core that would give rise to the best part of the dialect poetry of Trentino at the end of the century, which will have its second explosion - fortunately still going on - after the Eighties and up to the present day. These poets "sowers" came to light in the first decades of the century and we will take a quick look at them.
In 1900 Aldo Salvadei was born in Mantova from parents from the Val Rendena and from childhood he spent summers in Caderzone, his parents' birthplace. After the Great War he moved to Trentino, and worked in Trento as a pediatrist. He kept in touch with Caderzone, which he considered his true birthplace, and began to write poems after W.W. II, codifying for the first time the dialect of his valley.
In 1901 Celestino Costa was born in Trento, a baker and connoisseur of dialect. He discovered a popular poetic vein after W.W. II, and used it to describe things and sentiments with exemplary directness. He was known with the pseudonym of "Nane dela Zervara," because he was born on Cervara Street and was known by all. He died in 1962.
In 1906 Marco Pola was born in Roncegno, Valsugana and died in Trento in 1991. His life and work are discussed in the section dedicated to him.
In 1907 Lorenzo Salvadori was born in Denno, Valle di Non. After getting a degree in literature in Rome, he began teaching literature. After moving several times in Italy and abroad, toward the end of W.W. II he settled in Rome, where he died in 1972. He returned every year to Denno, where he had built a house fro the summer. He never forgot the dialect of his town and codified it, and was about to publish his first book when he died. It was published by his friends in 1973.
Also in 1907 Antonio Bruschetti was born in Lizzana di Rovereto, in Vallagarina. A mild and reserved man, he began writing poems and comedies in dialect il his later years. He published his first three book of poetry between 1974 and 1980, while in 1985 he gathered all his poems in one volume, with the addition of new poems. He has been considered a "poet farmer" because his poetry speaks of the land and its labors. He had a good knowledge of dialect. He died in 1993.
1907 was an important year for the dialect poetry of Trentino, because Arnaldo Cristoforetti, better known in Trentino and elsewhere as Nando da Ala, was also born in that year. He was first an elementary school teacher in Italy and Africa and then worked for the railroad. A difficult, extroverted and generous man, he was the image of his poetry, which he began to write at a ripe age. In 1985 he published his only book, but his complete works appeared in 1976, a year after his death, edited by the friends of the "Filò" he had founded in 1962.
.In 1909, in Moena in Val di Fassa, Valentino dell'Antonio was born, better known as Tinòto Mónech (mónech stands for sexton), who established himself as one of the best poets in the Ladin language (or dialect?). He published his poems while living, but his complete works appeared only after his death, which took place in 1981.
Luigi Amech was born in Trento in 1914. He was a humble and honest poet, with a good knowledge of dialect and a good popular culture. He was inspired by the poems of Vittorio Felini, whom he considered his master, basically following his work. He left three volumes of respectable poetry with a popular bent, in some places very funny. He died rather young in 1967.
Arcadio Borgogno was born in Borgo Valsugana in 1914. He wrote in the dialect of Trento, where he died in 1977. His life and work are discussed in the section dedicated to him.
Corrado Trotter (died in 1997) and Quirino Bezzi (died in 1998) were also born in 1914, in Primiero and Val di Sol respectively. They are two poets who refresh the poetry of their valleys with original contributions. Trotter, an elementary school teacher and historian of his valley, is a poet-narrator, and his poetry alternates between descriptions of life in the valley and personal memories. Bezzi, also a teacher and historian, used various registers in his poetry, from the lyrical to the narrative, and spoke of his valley, his people and their social, historical and civil issues. Clelia Bellutti Golser was born in 1914 (died in 1973). She can be described as the poet of the family and published her only work in 1960.
Guido Bond was born in 1917 in Innsbuck, where his family was in confinement during the war. He revealed his poetic vein after W.W. II, publishing in newspapers and reciting in the microphones of RAI in Trento. His poetry show a popular bent, with a good dose of humor. He died in 1982 and his work appeared posthumously in 1993.
Marco Candido Nesler was born in Malosco, Valle di Non, in 1920. He is the first poet of the high part of the valley to write in dialect. In addition to poetry, he also wrote comedies in dialect. He died in Malosco in 1989. His work was known in the valley, but his poems were collected by his widow only after his death.
Marco Fonatanari (Trento 1920-1993), began writing in 1946. an Alpino and known in the mountain territory, he used to hold long poetic meeting with his own poems, which he improvised, and reading poems by Bepi Mor, Vittorio Felini and Carlo Nani. He went around the province with another poet, Enrico Rosato, to bring dialect poetry to outlying associations, libraries and .the elderly. He published his only book in 1992.
Giuseppe Caprara was born in Avio, in the lower Valagarina, in 1921. He is one of the most interesting voices in the poetic landscape of Trentino after the Sixties. He was called the poet of the mountain and the poet of suffering. Wounded in Russia during the war, he became an invalid and spent the last fifteen years of his life practically in bed. He always lived in Ala, in the lower Val Lagarina and died in 1982. He published six small volume of dialect poetry between 1964 and 1981. An anthology of his best work was published after his death by the poets of "Filò," the group of dialect poets which he joined in 1976. He had great expressive power, an austere verse, intentionally irregular, and used a plain and suggestive dialect.
7. The crisis in the aftermath of the war
But quality will be achieved by degrees. The aftermath of the war until the Sixties was a period characterized not only by a scarcity of dialect poetry of Trentino, but by the retreat of dialect culture in general. Theaters closed, the companies of amateur actors dissolved, the dialect theater was in crisis, the people preferred the cinema and television is imminent... In the absence of good poetry, a type of low versification began to spread, because dialect was used in any case. This was in part the heritage of Fascism, that looked askance at local cultures. Not everything is lost, however, because the handful of poets active during Fascism (Teresita degli Alessandrini, Umberto Cattani, Italo Bertotti, Arcadio Borgogno) are joined by Celestino Costa, Mario Alneri, and Marco Fontanari, who will carry on the tradition of dialect poetry in the decade 1945-1955.
Now dialect was becoming fashionable. Other writers enter the scene and improvise as poets. But they are not very good and the reaction is not far behind. In fact, it was this lowering of the level of dialect poetry in Trentino from 1945 to 1960 that provoked the reaction of the two major poets of the post-war period, Marco Pola and Arcadio Borgogno, followed almost immediately by Renzo Francescotti and Silvano Forti and, later, Italo Varner. But let's proceed in order.
The impetus toward revival was not homogeneous and not all attributable to the merits of the poets alone. A poet, in fact, does not live as an extraneous body within a process of civil and cultural growth of his community. He interprets its desires (and illusions), appropriates a certain drive toward generational changes, and thus gradually takes part to the development and enrichment of the civil society to which he belongs. From it he takes the inspiration for his poetry. It is society that now demands more, and critics also are taking greater interest in this small world. Writing poetry, then, becomes above all a problem of individual culture, and at the same time a problem of linguistic maturity, that in Trentino has not always achieved its best potential.
Even the best poets of the early century, Mor and Felini, were influenced by a homespun pathos, and while writing respectable poetry they often yielded to sentimentality. But if those were the times for this type of poetry, "fashionable" from the beginning of the century to the second world war, afterwards it became necessary to find the courage change and to gauge the new wind that was sweeping Italy after the war. Instead Trentino, certainly from the beginning, but even from 1930 and 1960, was overrun by an orgy of mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, home, garden, fairs, fountains, streams, and dawns and sunsets; or too many moons, under whose faint light nothing at all happened. In Trentino there had never been a blissfulness of the absurd, a journey into the absolute, a transgression in the purest fantasy. And almost always the flatness of the subject matter was accompanied by a flat style. Poetry needed someone to show the right way at the right time.
8. With Pola and Borgogno there is the first link between the poetry of Trentino and national culture
Marco Pola and Arcadio Borgogno enter the scene in this context, the former more than the latter because Pola's books were immediately available, while for Borgogno, whose first book was published after his death, one had to look at some journals and anthologies.
It was thus Marco Pola who first took the initiative of writing in dialect and teaching many how to write and how to say things differently. In a moment of particular stagnation, of mere survival of dialect culture and poetry, Pola sent out a challenge thinking that it was the right moment precisely due to the presence of too many simple versifiers who found ample room in a journal published in those years, Ciàcere en trentin e veneto (1958-1964)1, which will be certainly be remembered more for its merits than its flaws, but which had unintentionally become also a fast vehicle for the diffusion of mediocrity.
If that was poetry, and if that was dialect, Pola told himself, then he might as well give up. But Pola was not convinced that the dialect of poets was only that one, and that the subject matter of poetry was always the same. And he began to extract gold from popular culture and the wealth of its wisdom to show a way which would be followed by the best and most sensitive part of the dialect poetry of the city of Trento and its surroundings.
The same can be said of Arcadio Borgogno. With his poetry of high tragedy and moral uneasiness, he taught that with dialect one can write tragedy, with that same dialect that before him and Pola had been used to make people laugh and to be the vehicle of an exasperated chauvinism.
A first link with dialect culture and poetry on a national level was no doubt established, but there was still a long way to go before this new consciousness could be perceived outside the Trento province.
Pola's and Borgogno's work would influence all dialect poetry of Trentino just enough to oblige most subsequent dialect poets of the province to look to their almost perfect rhymes, their spirit of observation and introspection and, for the poets of Trento and surrounding areas, to their dialect used with a level of control never before achieved. After the Sixties then the poetry of Trentino seems to have found new courage and new nourishment.
It wasn't only the national recognition finally achieved by Pola and Borgogno that gave a boost to the poetry of Trentino, but it was also the emergence of a new generation of poets born - physically and culturally - either between the wars or even after W.W. II, which inherited the new spirit that was to inform the dialect poetry of Trentino, if it wanted to leave behind its provincial ghetto.
These voices, new even if some of them not young - because while born around the Twenties they were not heard until after the Sixties - are in particular those of Ezio Endrizzi, born in Turin in 1919, the same year in which don Valerio Bottura was born in Aldeno; Mario Antolini, born in Tione in 1920; Gianni Meneguz, who was born in Pieve di Transacqua in 1922 and died in 1981; Paolo Cereghini, who was born in Trento in 1923 and died in 1995; Luciano Marconi, born in Trento in 1924 and now living in Switzerland; Lino Lucchi, born in Trento in 1924; Renata Franceschi, born in Trento in 1925, the same year in which Lorenzo Cosso was born in Milan, Bruna Zenatti in Rovereto, and Enrico Rossaro and Luciano Baroni in Riva del Garda.; Carmelo Binelli, born in Pinzolo in 1927 (died in 1987); Valentina Albertini Bonafini, born in Spiazzo in1929; Giovanni Borzaga, born in Trebto in 1931 (died in 1998); Gastone Pancheri, born in Tione in 1931; Gianfranco Fontana, born in Roverè della Luna in 1931 (died in 1985); Gaetano Castelli, born in Trento in 1933; Arrigo Colpi, born in 1935 in Folgara; Gianfranco Arlanch, born in Mori in 1935; Francesca Candotti, born in Trento in 1936 and now living in Brindisi; Tiziana Decarli, born in Trento in 1937; Franco Tonini, born in Stramentizzo in 1937; Milena Zucchelli, born in Riva del Garda in 1938; Dario Salsa, born in Pieve di Bono in 1939; Luciano Decarli and Silvio Tardivo, born in 1940 in Lévico and Brentonio respectively; Roberto Spagolla, born in Telve Valsugana in 1943; Silvana Gottardi Ferrari, born in Brentonico in 1944; Dino Zambotti, born in Fiavé in 1945; Elisa Polla, born in Caderzone in 1950 and living in Tione; Livio Andreatta, born in Piné in 1950; Bruna Sartori, born in Borgo Valsugana in 1950; Maria Carla Failo, born in Baselga in 1952; Flavio Antonilli, born in Tione in 1957; and Luciano Daldoss, born in the valley of Ledro in 1957.
This is not meant to be the census of all the poets of this century, some of whom have been active since W.W. II. I have mentioned those who, in my opinion, with various results have contributed to the growth of the dialect poetry of Trentino.
A special mention deserve ten contemporary poets, four women and six men, who have made significant contributions to all the local contemporary poetic culture.
The four women are Grazia Binelli, born in 1939 in Pizolo and living in Rovereto, who has been writing poetry only for the last ten years. Lia Cinà Bezzi, born in 1942 in Rovereto; Antonia Dalpìaz, born in Trento in 1955; Luciana Sicheri, born in the Giudicarie in 1959; who uses the transitional dialect of the area, which shows almost no Lombard influence, but is closer to the dialect of the Basso Serca and in Part of Trento. They are four very interesting voices, quite different in temperament, subject matter, and style. Four voices that, in their own way, have sailed against the current of better-known poetry.
Grazia Binelli has "invented" her own narrative mode, mostly addressing her own "self," and has added a nice touch of imagination and descriptive lightness to the dialect poetry of the region. A late-comer to poetry, she has rapidly become known in the last five years. In 1996 she published her first book of poems.
Lia Cinà Bezzi, of Rovereto, has always used her native dialect though she lived for many years in Trento. A reflective, meditative poet, she is a careful observer of nature and the family. She writes short poems, with a good use of dialect, and does not like descriptions. her poems have not been collected in a volume.
Antonia Dalpiazhas brought an "aggressive," but wise and timely femininity and womanly pride to dialect poetry, which were almost totally absent in the region. She has published two books of poetry in which she writes about the joys of love.
Luciana Sicheri's poetry is characterized by strong naturalistic elements (nature seen as friend-foe, as comfort-consternation), and by a secular religiosity in her at times grating dialog with the Supernatural. Her dialect is authentic and strong, with a great deal of spontaneity and expressiveness. She has published one book of poems.
The six male poets are the older Bruno Groff, born in Trento in 1913, and Anselmo Chini, born in Segno in 1918; Bruno Banàl, born in Rovereto in 1926; Silvano Forti, born in Romagnano in 1927; Sergio Collini, born in Spiazzo Rendena in 1928; and Fabrizio da Trieste, born in Grado in 1935, who writes in many dialect registers. These poets stand out not only for the quality of their work, always of good caliber, but also for the attention they have given to society, which is reflected in their poetry.
Bruno Groff is the dean of dialect poets of Trentino (he was eighty-five on June 15, 1998), and has achieved a well-deserved fame with the public and careful consideration by the critics, as both satyrical and lyric poet. He began writing at an advanced age by contributing to the journal Ciàcere en trentin e veneto, founded by his father Lionello in 1958. He has published eight volumes of poetry between 1978 and 1998.
Anselmo Chini has been well known for years, even though his first work dates back to 1985. In love with his dialect and his valley, his work is rooted in an ancient civilization and an ancient language. Writing of simple things, looking at the past without rhetoric, he uses brief verses whose musicality is highlighted by the impeccable use of dialect.
Bruno Banàl has emerged particularly during this last decade, becoming the best contemporary poet in the dialect of Rovereto. His poetry is characterized by the fanciful interpretation of reality, the full and mature use of metaphor, and his brisk and jagged dialog.
Silvano Forti brings in his poetry the strong breath of the countryside, the zesty moments of rural life, with its sacrifices, its rare joys, the fleeting serenity. A poetry of reminiscence, but above all a poetry of flash-backs from a world that no longer exists, for which there is fondness, but no regret.
Sergio Collini has "constructed" his poetry through meditation and reflection, looking through disillusioned eyes at his valley and its people. A valley of emigrants, of seasonal migrants, thus of labors and suffering, expressed by the poet in crisp and sinewy verses.
Fabrizio da Trieste is a very flexible poet, with a wide range of interests, who knows to perfection various dialects, from his ancestral one of Anaunia, to his native one of Grado, to that of Trento, where he lives. A keen, brilliant, analytical poet, versatile and multilingual, whose strength lies in the subject matter and musicality of his verses.
And, of course, there are Renzo Francescotti and Lilia Slomp Ferrari, discussed in the sections dedicated to them.
In conclusion, today one can say with good reason - despite the supposed crisis of dialects - that Trentino is experiencing its best poetic season ever. Not only due to prominent voices such as Lilia Slomp Ferrari and Renzo Francescotti, but also to the presence of other strong figures like the ten poets just mentioned, who for lack of space have not been afforded the attention and consideration they deserve.
1The first series of the journal Ciàcere en trentin e veneto came out from 1958 to 1964. It was a monthly of eight or twelve pages in a tabloid format. When the first issue came out, the founder and editor, Lionelo Groff, was already 78 years old. He ran it for six years, practically alone. The name remained property of the family. In 1985, thanks to a courageous publisher and a small group of people, all volunteers, who took on the task of writing the journal, Ciàcere en trentin e veneto resumed publication, this time as a quarterly of 48 pages plus cover, format A4 (21.0x29.7), It was transformed into a journal of dialect culture, with essays, research and studies, and not just poetry. And with essays and dialect poetry from other parts of Italy. As of 1998 50 issues have been published with almost 2500 pages.
Anthologies and Dictionaries
Dizionario trentino-italiano, by L. Groff, Trento: G.B. Monauni, 1955.
Trieste vernacola, edited by G. Piazza, Trieste 1920.
Nuovi poeti triestini, edited by L. Groff, Trento 1967.
Poesia dialettale triestina, ediited by R. Damiani and G. Grisancich, Trieste 1976.
Undici poeti dialettali triestinii, edited by R. Francescotti, Trento 1985.
Storia e antologia della poesia dialettale trentina, edited by Elio Fox, 4 vols., Trento 1991.
Veneto e Trentino-Alto Adige, edited by I. Caliaro, Brescia 1990.
Dar nome a un volgo : l'identità culturale del Trentino nella letteratura delle tradizioni popolari (1796-1939), by Mario Nequirito. San Michele all'Adige (Trento): Museo degli usi e costumi della gente trentina, 1999.