Vol. 9 (2020)
CONDIZIONI DI POSSIBILITÀ – Letteratura e cultura visuale, a cura di F. Fastelli

Fontane di Roma: Richard Wilbur e gli altri

Published December 31, 2020


The essay analyzes one of the most celebrated poems by Richard Wilbur (“A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra”, 1955) along three critical lines: 1. as an original example of a modern ekphrastic text, which proposes to establish a fruitful dialogue between a piece of poetry and a Roman fountain, a (not completely “silent”) work of art; 2. as the result of a dense textual “intercourse” with other – less known – poems in the Anglo-American tradition (by Louise Bogan and Anthony Hecht); 3. as the occasion for an ethical discourse, that can be read in the context of two poems in the German language (by R.M. Rilke and C.F. Meyer). The concluding remarks point at the deep significance of Wilbur’s post World War Two residence in Rome, as well as the multiple humane echoes originating from his literary stance.


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