The best early Italian-American poetry deals with the excitement and disillusionment of life in this "new-found land." The immigrant Emanuel Carnevali (1897-1942) became the first Italian writer to make a significant, if short-lived, impact on modern American poetry. Supporting himself in Greenwich Village by shoveling snow and washing dishes, Carnevali enjoyed a special celebrity among populist Modernist poets like William Carlos Williams and Carl Sandburg. He published only one book, Tales of a Hurried Man (1925), but it established him in avant-garde circles.

Harriet Monroe, the founding editor of Poetry, eventually brought him out to Chicago to work on her magazine, but he was soon stricken with encephalitis. Impoverished, disillusioned, and disabled, he returned to his homeland where he wrote, "O Italy, O great boot, / don't kick me out again!" Poets like Carnevali, however, survive today mainly as historical figures—examples of the developing ethnic consciousness of Italian-American writers. They have at best modest claims to the attention of general readers of poetry.

Poems by Emanuel Carnevali


Poet of the day

George Essex Evans was an Australian poet.

Biography

Evans was born in London on 18 June 1863. Both his parents were Welsh. Evans's father, John Evans, Q.C., died in 1864 when Evans was only a few months old. John Evans, who was the Treasurer of the Inner Temple and a...
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Poem of the day


In o'er-strict calyx lingering,
Lay music's bud too long unblown,
Till thou, Beethoven, breathed the spring:
Then bloomed the perfect rose of tone.

O Psalmist of the weak, the strong,
O Troubadour of love and strife,
Co-Litanist of right and wrong,
Sole Hymner of...
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