Gabriele D'Annuzio

Gabriele D'Annunzio

The New Poet and His Work

By

Eugene Benson

"Sovran maestro d'ogni melodia"


I

THE new romance and the new prose come to us from Italy.
After the attempt, first in France, then here, to make prose
a richer means of expression, it is interesting to see what has been
done in Italian.

It is one thing to limit language, as in a leading article, to the
mere understanding, that is, to the business style ; it is another
thing to make it correspond with, and express, the whole range of
emotion and thought of a poet.

The pedestrian step of the rank and file of writers, doubtless, is
the proper result of discipline ; fit for daily use ; it leads one
forward from fact to fact ; but it is not wise to confine all move
ment of mind and heart to its pace and form.

The concise phrase showing the greatest economy of words,
and the most effective use of them for a given purpose, is not an
illustration of all the resources of language. For a whole order of
sensations and ideas—those of the poet and the artist, that is to

say

285 By Eugene Benson

say the interpreters and illustrators of life—the language of a
great soldier, or a great moralist, is inadequate. There is the
ever-recurring search for and sign of new forms of expression.
The reserved and parsimonious masters of the word are displaced
to make room for the givers of the magnificent ; magnificence is
as much a part of greatness of style as it is a part of greatness of
character. The splendour of the true is the beautiful. In art,
form is not cut down as for a thing of speed only, but it is a
generous thing to give full expression, not to stint it. The
symbol of style is not the Greek runner with everything super
fluous for his purpose eliminated, but rather one would accept the
idea of music, with its vast and varied harmonies, its searching
note, as indicating in a better way the richest expressional power.
And it is to make prose like music that the new style is attempted.
Carlyle, uncouth and wilful, yet flashing his own Rembrandt-
like light on one feature ; Ruskin, intemperate, insular, arbitrary,
yet with a splendour of style all his own, made us welcome
Matthew Arnold, who led us to form our expression, as he in part
had done, after the clear, grave and restrained masters of French
style. Our prose became cold and somewhat barren ; it stiffened ;
it lost its free movement. Swinburne and Pater, the one with an
opulent phrase, the other with a choice phrase, at once delicate
subtle and alluring, touched a newly-awakened sense of beauty,
but touched only a few readers. Yet so far, they liberated us
from the stricter prose reactionists, who, like Stendhal, made it a
point of good sense as of virtue not to attempt the splendid
rhetoric of the great masters. Yet the new prose and the new
romance failed to appear ; at least, they came not with all their
means of expression in perfect use, with perfect choice of word,
with that life quickening them without which they are extrava-
gant and ineffective.

In

286 Gabriele d'Annuzio

In spite of all that has been done in modern prose, if the plain
straight tale is all we ask for, we must go back for the best of the
kind. Story for story, we may still prefer the Book of Daniel to
the Book of Flaubert, and Susannah, the delicate woman, simply
and charmingly presented, is more engaging than the much
elaborated Salammbô.

Voltaire's opinion that the Bible stories are masterpieces, is not
discredited by our later tales, though with our modern literature
there comes in a new element, pagan, chivalric, refined ; the
worship of woman, the cult of beauty. The most brilliant
examples of it are still Italian. And it is not only the woman,
but the lady, who is enthroned in the new art.

The new prose and the new romance are the work of Italy's
new poet, Gabriele d'Annunzio, who, in le Vergtne delle Rocce,
seeks to make prose do all that poetry has done, that is, yield itself
to every breath of emotion, pliant to every sensation. He would
make it like Shelley's verse. And it is claimed that he has enlarged
the domain of language. The uses to which he has put his prose
imply a less trammelled life than that which our moralists accept.
His style is the result of an unfailing sense of beauty, of a passion
for, and power to express life, without which it would be but a
wordy and incontinent thing, flaccid, nerveless, swollen, ineffec-
tive and fatiguing.

We may prefer the etchist point to the brush, but the brush of
a Titian or a Rubens gives us richer sensations of beauty than
the acid-bitten style of the daily dreadful.

It is fit that from the land of leisure and of art should come
the new romance and the new prose, and it is proper that it should
be the gift of the new poet of Italy, whose lyric achievement is
perfect and unquestioned ; whose artistic needs and aristocratic
preferences forbid him to submit to business aims and democratic

ideals.

287 By Eugene Benson

ideals. The old stirring romance of adventure, with every page
appealing to the dramatic sense, or at least to our love of action,
which enthrals the average reader, seems but made for busy men
and for coarse brains. The imaginative art of the new romance
has nothing in common with it ; the poetic and artistic expression
of the new romance really exacts a more cultivated mind, or at
least one upon which all the refinements of thought and expression
are not lost, but give to it a distinct pleasure. If you depreciate
this kind of pleasure, you stop short with the robust, but miss the
finer flowers of the " Garden of Words."

In the new romance, the tasce for literature and art is fully
met. The phrase in it is a thing of beauty, a constant joy ;
it takes us into a charmed world, where the ideal transfigures
the real ; but it does so without weakening our sense of actu-
ality ; it rather enriches it, rooted in it, as it is ; very different
from the spurious, the vague, the formless attempts at imagin-
ative art.

Without some knowledge of Italian genius and culture,
d'Annunzio's last Romance is hardly likely to be understood, nor
is there anything like it in any language but his own. To tell
the mere story of it would be but to give a skeleton, and ask you
to imagine the sumptuous, the voluptuous beauty of a living
woman, proud and simple and unashamed in all the grace and
charm of her seductiveness. The method of criticism which
divests a tale of its language is fit only for the dull who have no
sense of language, and to whom a phrase is like a vestment that
may be removed, not a vital part of the thing, as it is in
d'Annunzio's narrative.

Claudio Cantelmo, the hero of his story, is of an ancient and
illustrious race. After spending his youth according to the
devices of his heart, he retires to his estates to recover himself.

His

288 Gabriele d'Annuzio

His only neighbours are a strange and secluded family, of which
the two princes of Castromitano were friends of his youth. The
three Virgins of the Romance are the three sisters, very beautiful,
who with their mad mother, the Princess Aldoini, and their
father, Prince Luigi, embittered and saddened by exile—become
so deeply interesting to the hero and to the reader. They appear
and disappear as in a magic mirror. Vividly as they are presented
there is little of the shock of action ; the dramatic movement is so
suave, it is as though they came and went according to some
rhythmic law, to the sound of music, graceful, harmonious,
beautiful. There is an air of high breeding, of melancholy, of
reserve, as in Poe's Ligeia, as in his Fall of the Home of Usher ;
there is the sense of latent passion, of malady, of mysterious
destiny ; but the reader is kept this side of the dangerous edge of
circumstance ; reflection takes the place of action. One follows
their personal life at intervals not only to be led by curiosity to
know their fortunes, but to get the most brilliant expression of a
beautiful mind. For the obvious sense of the hero s situation,
involving his choice of a wife, has yet a richer interest. The
writer touches the profoundest elements of life with such high
Italian dignity and grace that he is never betrayed into anything
unworthy his fine art, and he shows complete deliverance from
the rank company of realism ; he is poetic ; his work is a work of
art, as art has been understood in Italy before it was infected with
the baser things of its decadence.

It is in this new Romance that d'Annunzio appears with some-
thing like a new faith. Released from the revolting realism and
the questionable types of several of his former books, he puts forth
a new Declaration of Independence, not for the many but for the
few. He at least will resist mediocrity instead of writing to please
it in conformity with its tastes. He has seen that the sense of

style

289 By Eugene Benson

style is rare, that the many are incapable of recognising it ; for
the many are only curious about life, and dull about art. The
problem for the real artist is to inform art with life, and make art
give shape to life, which is in fact its highest office—for the art of
life is more than the art of painting, or music ; it is the result of
all art acting on the stuff of our days as they come and go. And
yet we call artists, only those who, mastering the technique of
some art, produce beautiful works, yet live sordidly, mindless
that the great artist is like Goethe, who makes a beautiful and
harmonious whole of his life.

Now that d Annunzio appears to have "dominated the inevit-
able tumults of his youth," and walks in the paths of art and beauty
with a pure and serene mind, made free by the truth, we are to
recognise him as master, not only of his art, but of himself. He
emerges from his sense-bound experience with a high philosophy
of being. In a magnificent tribute to Socrates, "the Master," he
repeats the immortal narrative of Phaedo, the beloved disciple.
Few pages of modern literature are comparable to his account of
the Platonic dialogue. It is in le Vergine delle Rocce that you can
read anew the impressive story of the last moments of Socrates,
even to the caressing gesture of the serene philosopher, who pauses
in his discourse on death, and the soul, and immortality, to touch
with a playful hand the beautiful hair of Phasdo. The Platonic
narrative is reproduced, freshened and quickened to serve anew as
the note of " music " for which d'Annunzio himself is striving.
He strikes a philosophic note ; he shows a Pagan sense of beauty.
The book opens with a solemn, almost Sacerdotal, intonation.
The carnal muse of the new poet seems absent, and we are led to
expect the development of his theme guided by the antique lover
of wisdom, with a full expression of the higher life of the senses
and the soul. It holds nothing vulgar or common, and it aims to

express

290 Gabriele D'Annuzio

express the beautiful, in evoking the three ideals of conduct, the
three ideals embodied in the three virgins ; the ideal of religious
life, of filial devotion, of impassioned love of beauty, as it is in the
three sisters in their reserved and hidden life, for the moment
subject to the dominating egotism of the masculine will, embodied
in the hero of the story.

There may be some disappointment if you take d'Annunzio's
Romance expecting in it the English pattern for domestic use.
It is representative of the Latin or Pagan genius, that is, not the
genius of morality, or of what Matthew Arnold called Conduct,
but the genius of life and art, in a land of never failing beauty.

Much of his former prose is given to record the excesses of
passion in types both degenerate and repugnant, though portrayed
and expressed with mastery. But many of his shorter stories are
quite enchanting, filled with the loveliness of spring, with the
purity of dawn. He shows us the Italian peasant of the Abruzzi,
and gives us descriptions of a part of Italy but little known ;
primitive, antique, curiously interesting. The orange orchards,
the olive slopes, far down the Adriatic; millions of roses, festal
processions and the incredible fanaticism and passion of religion of
the Abruzzi contadini; measureless life under the most subjugating
influences, not so much described as felt and depicted by him,
while again and again his marvellous prose is illuminated by the
word of the poet, as in Les Cloches and Annales d'Anne—translated
into French by E. Hérelle. There is in them the magic and the
charm of nature. Les Cloches of d'Annunzio may be compared
with Les Cloches of Victor Hugo, in Notre Dame, to the advan-
tage of the Italian prose writer, for his expression is richer, more
artistic and convincing.

As to his theory of art, it appears that dulness alone is forbidden
to the artist; that art without life is a dead thing, life without

art,

291 By Eugene Benson

art, brutal. With a sense that shrinks before nothing, he treats
whatever comes to his hand, or rather whatever interests him,
with perfect composure; with perfect sincerity the infallible
sign of the true artist, as of the true poet. He will not affect a
shame or a repugnance he does not feel when, like a surgeon,
curious and impassive, he deals with a subject. Only the specialist
will sympathise with, or approve of, this impartiality for, this
indifference to, what we call disagreeable or agreeable. I confess
Italian hardihood is always a surprise, and one is induced to think
the race lacks delicacy in things moral and physical. Italian in
sensibility to smell, for instance ; Italian indifference to that
disgusting display of viscera which adds to the sanguinary horror
of the butchers shops of Rome—shock the more fastidious
sense of the colder North. As to the sense of smell, one must
think that the nasal nerve is more robust in the Italian. That
organ does not sniff the offence in the way, nor nose the rat on
the stairs, nor the corpse behind the arras. The Italian ignores
villainous odours. Yet extreme sensibility to all that is most
delicious in nature is shown on many a page of d'Annunzio's
prose. How often with him one is in a perpetual spring of new
born scents, in a land where the very air becomes an accomplice
to seduce the senses ! and properly so, for Italy is also the land of
heavenly odours, the land of flowery perfumes. Where, as in
Italy, is the very air inebriating with orange blossoms, with roses,
with laurel-bloom sweeter than honey ? Hazlitt boldly said that
he preferred Italian dirt to Dutch cleanliness; thinking decay and
corruption signs of the richer life : the compost of it in Italy
feeding, as it does, a deeper vegetation, and, as some think, a richer
humanity. The Italian accepts it all ; is used to it ; the foreigner,
with the quicker sense revolts at it.

We wonder that a writer of the highest artistic gifts deals with

The Yellow Book Vol. XI. S

diseased

292 Gabriele d'Annuzio

diseased and degenerate types, showing the same fervour and
interest that he does when he deals with health and beauty.
Under the pretext of science or truth, he serves a bad turn to
art; he confounds beauty and the normal life with all life ; affects
to be god-like, superior to matter, and handles the unclean and
the clean, forgetting that the first business of the man and the
artist is to discriminate between good and bad. The error of not
choosing the better part will correct, or rather it has corrected
itself, since the writer has turned from the romance of the street
to the romance of the garden.

It is in d'Annunzio's new romance that we see his choice is
determined by a higher ideal of life than in his former prose, that
the things not nice of realism are abandoned, left buried with the
débris of their day ; their corruption dooms them to be forgotten.
Pestiferous literature has short lease of life. If one goes to
L'lnnocente and Giovanni Episcopo to learn more about d'Annunzio,
one is in danger of taking his exuberant fiction for fact. They
but show the rank " dressing " of his former days. Most readers
stop at that, unmindful of, or without seeing, the perfect flowers
of beauty grown out of it. It is true that the heroes of his earlier
romances are not only slaves to animal functions, but they are
more dangerous than animals : they are fatal to the very women
they love ; they have the taint and the action of madness. They
are not so aspiring as Milton's lion " pawing to get free his hinder
parts " ; at the best they are but like dolphins showing their backs
above the element they delight in ; they have no more moral sense
than a water snake ; they have something of Borgia, of Cellini, of
Aretino, of Casanova ; they are stiffening and repugnant to our
sense of rectitude, for they illustrate not rectitude but excess.
The experiences d'Annunzio has written of, with consummate
gifts of expression, in L'lnnocente and in Giovanni Episcopo, are

usually

293 By Eugene Benson

usually confined to clandestine books, and are seldom presented in
literature, seldom invested with art, at least outside France and
Italy. To match it you must go to that native of Roman Gaul,
the satirist of Nero, who alone is rivalled by the later Pagan, feel
ing responsible not for the story he tells, but for how he tells it,
and determined to tell it in all its details with unmitigated truth.
He shows the utmost unconcern as to what you may think of it.
You have the right to say you do not like his choice of subject.

When Goethe was reproached for the injurious eftect his
Werther had upon weak people, he said : " If there are mad
people for whom reading is bad, I can t help it. The consequences
do not concern me." The old Pagan felt himself to be like
nature, working inevitably, in no way responsible for results, which
are the individual's affair. So d'Annunzio writes with the con-
science of an artist, but without the sensitiveness of a moralist ;
certainly without the restraints which regulate and sometimes
silence expression when there is question of a personal experience
which, as Hamlet says, it is not honest to set down in plain phrase.
In Italy the matter is not so considered.

D'Annunzio's phrase as a prose writer is supple and opulent;
his word is vivid ; his feeling intense ; he is always serious. He
lacks playfulness. Without a sense of humour, seldom or never
with the purpose of a humourist, without the sport of wit, he yet
holds one fascinated by his word as he tells his tale ; while he tells
it he charms one with the music, the splendour, the colour and the
grace of his language, and one wonders at the sustained flow and
harmony of his periods. The secret of his style is that it is ever
informed by an imaginative mind, shaped by a never failing sense
of art. He seems denied lordship over laughter and tears. That
belongs to the poet, and the dramatist, and the story-teller of
simpler aims and humbler sympathies than the aristocratic and

fastidious

294 Gabriele d'Annuzio

fastidious artist. He is like a musician who writes—the melodious
element prevails ; he is like a painter who paints—colour prevails;
he is like a worker in marble or metal—form prevails. He is a
writer who, like George Sand, like Gautier, like Swinburne, has
measureless power and a supreme sense of beauty to express his
sense of life and art. Individual and intense, he looked isolated,
like Baudelaire, with questionable tendencies and preferences. He
seems to have escaped the abasement of the unclean, stained, but
not transformed by the thing he worked in when dealing with the
baser experiences of life.

While Baudelaire is close, severe, terse, d'Annunzio is open,
pliant, and abundant. Now and again you get from his poetry a
note, not disavowed, from Shakespeare, from Shelley, from
Baudelaire, from Walt Whitman, from Tennyson. The Northern
novelists have led him to treat of crime and punishment. With
all these elements from the ferment of our modern moral and
intellectual life, he has remained himself, a new talent, a personal
talent, enriched, not dominated by others, maker and master of his
own expression, renewing for us purely Italian types of life and art.
Finally the poet has triumphed over the realist. It is in his later
prose, and in his later verse, that he shows the inevitable change
brought about by time and suffering. It holds a mystic element.
He uses the Natural as the symbol of the Spiritual.

The poet is triumphant.

II

The poet has manifested himself more varied in style than the
prose writer. He began with a sense of clean-cut classic form,
objective, Pagan, unacquainted with the maladies of the intro
spective mind, and he produced masterpieces of Greek-like beauty

that

295 By Eugene Benson

that at once raised him above the felicitous dilettante of classic art ;
he turned from that, as from a thing accomplished, to reach after
the refinements of the Provencal, and he attained at once in
I'Isottèo an elegance, a lightness, a romantic charm, a laughing
melody and grace of language, beyond anything of our time ; and
last, in his Poema Paradisiaco behold another transformation.
The artificial, complicated, sensual poet of mediaeval and renaissance
gallantry is the suave, simple, intime poet of home affections
won back, as to a spring of pure water, after many and strange
wanderings.

It is because of all this Protean and beautiful work that he is
regarded as the first artist of Italy since '71. He is the new poet
of his race, not of national aspiration or political aims, but of the
eternal life of eternal Italy ; of what in it endures while Republics,
Empires, Religion, come and go, or are transformed in that land
of open sensuality, pagan from first to last, excessive in its passion
of life and art, and rich and splendid in the expression of it all.

It is interesting to contrast the noble and unfortunate Leopardi,
the poet of unappeased passion, of great memories, the proud poet
of despair, with the new poet who has gratified every passion and
slacked his thirst for every pleasure. Like Leopardi, the sombre
lover of death, d'Annunzio, the poet of pleasure, exhausted and at
the end of sensation, woos the pale mother of all woe and all peace.
Proved to the uttermost, the intellectual life and the sensual life
leave both men restless for the triumph of death ; and all this
perilous stuff is worked off in expression, in fiction, in novels and
verses, which are the artist's means of self-deliverance.

Leopardi moaned his anguish for the perishing individual doomed
to an enforced renunciation ; moaned for his country, prostrate
and enslaved, renewing no grandeur and quickening no heroism,
till roused by his indignation, moved by his tears ; d'Annunzio,

more

296 Gabriele d'Annuzio

more fortunate in his youth than the earlier poet, yet gave to sense
what the other gave to mind, the strength and passion of his
best years. With supple and jewelled phrase, with language
expressive of every seduction of the senses, of every enchantment
of beauty, he celebrates the burning pleasures of his youth, his
pride of life, his passion for art. Both are pagan ; the intellectual
penetration of both men pitiless and unhesitating, sparing no
illusion. The one is involved, profound, enwrapt, like Michael
Angelo's Night, in a dolorous dream ; the other, like some
desperate alchemist, dissolves one by one the jewels of his youth,
intent to test or sacrifice the very substance and quality of his
being. How are we to understand two such poets ? Art we to
turn away from them as aliens, subject to tyrannies which we
know not, or which we have resisted ? Must we go to Clough
and cold water, admit no acquaintance with flesh, escape dense life
only to harass ourselves with introspective verse, which at best is
but a proof of an active intellectual apparatus ; or are we to step
back to the chaste muse of our greater poets and rest with their
simpler and more restrained expression ? The age has to produce
its own poetry. It is not enough that the gods and the demi-gods
have lived. We must have the expression of our own life, and
poetry is the first and final expression, the expression that survives.
D'Annunzio's verse shows what it is for Italy in Italy to-day.

Christianised or Puritanised as we have been, the pagan ele-
ment has only temporary possession with us. Though it has
appeared allied with a music and an art not unworthy of the
gravest as well as the lightest of Latin poets, serious with a
studied and a premeditated sensuality, it has remained a thing
more for hot-house Englishmen than for the out-of-door man
who makes his race prevail, backed by the portentous matron who
will none of the roses and languors of the foreigner.

The

297 By Eugene Benson

The new pagan in Italy does not find himself in contradiction
to his time and race when he sings of the raptures of youth and
pleasure, unconscious of the stays and checks of our severer muse.
His surrender to the life of the senses is complete. But however
frantic his experience, he is serene and untroubled in his expres-
sion of it. The molten metal, the burning elements of his life,
are cast into a shape of beauty which one must admire if one has
a sense of form, a sense of art, and not merely that " sense of sin "
which shadows life and dictates most criticism. No wonder we
are so often found incapable of looking at a thing of art as a kind
of deliverance and redemption from the grossness of matter.

The new poet has the advantage of the old moralist ; for in
the very creation of art out of what the moralist must censure
as experience, he makes something beautiful, which is his
delight and consolation. He makes something that enchants us.
Triumphant, he shows his Venus in marble, he shapes the god in
clay.

The new poet, with his phosphorescent style, that at times
suggests corruption and smells of it, comes with the curiosity or
the savant and the emotion of the man ; he leaves no experience
of life untried or at least unimagined. He follows a passion ; he
sounds a motive ; absorbed, he seems all but criminal with the
criminal. He shows the flux and reflux of life in human nature.
If the great tide of it carries out or leaves stranded things that
revolt and pain us, we, at least, can show our taste by not occu-
pying ourselves with the more dreadful accidents of the hour and
the more unsightly dèbris of the season. Yet, if that is there,
there is much more in the prose of the poet.

The new pagan having read all literature, questioned all
religions, used up his youth, has one thing left, one thing of
great price, which the mere dèbauché has not known : he has the

consolations

298 Gabriele d'Annuzio

consolations of art, and, with it, the higher worship of beauty.
Art is his creation, and with that he enchants us and beguiles
himself. When he treats of the sin of Moonlight and May,
when he describes his "Venus of sweet waters" in the heat and
mystery of the noonday, we are enchanted with beauty ; and we
feel with him the trouble and ecstacy of youth. When he ad-
dresses his old nurse, or returns to his home and walks in the
garden with his mother, or addresses his sister with words of
touching sweetness, we learn that the sacred charities of the
heart are known and felt. He is noble and patriotic when he
pours out the rolling music of his funeral ode to the dead admiral.
We recognise that he is master of every melody, and, if a pagan
still, a pagan to whom the solemnities of life have come, and who
gives himself to the experience appropriate to his years. But
yesterday, living according to the law of his members, concerning
himself, like the French novelists of the day, with the sensual
side of life, with things of sight, and sound, and touch, and smell ;
describing the experience, not of the soul or the mind, but of the
flesh, and in no way ashamed of any condition of it in life or
death. The Frenchman, the Italian, the Spaniard, in a word,
the Latin, studies a corpse, paints it, or a nude living body,
curious of form ; and for that he is as constant as we are for the
domesticities of life. Imagine the different results in art.

Both from Baudelaire and from d'Annunzio we get the de pro-
fundis like a far-off note, recalling the pains and anxieties of the
opium eater. The frenzies of passion that lead the heroes of his
romances to murder or suicide, in the poet himself evoke a cry
of despair. The ever reappearing paganism of youth gives place
to the spiritualism of the new man, born out of suffering, and we
hear the cry of a living soul after the confessions of the sensualist.
It is this evolution which separates d'Annunzio from the objec-

tive

299 By Eugene Benson

tive and pagan artists of the Italian renaissance like Poliziano, for
example, close as he seems to him by his serene plastic sense ; it
is this which attaches him to Petrarch and Tasso, in his later
verse ; still a pagan, yet with sorrow, and all her family of sighs
and tears, become conscious that the life of the senses is not the
be-all and end-all of existence. The new pagan is touched by
something he cannot define, something that escapes form, yet
permeates it. So d'Annunzio becomes in poetry what Chopin is
in music, a " sovereign master of every melody." With the re-
finement of a Provencal, with the serenity of a Greek, he sang of
delightful romantic and classic things, of gardens and fêtes, and
all that belongs to the life of elegance.

He has a sixteenth-century face, like a portrait by Clouet :
fine, sensitive, intense ; implying close acquaintance with the
uncommon. Like a later Leonardo, he is a lover of the beautiful
hands of women ; like him, he is learned in the mysteries of their
touch ; like him, he is a student of their smile ; no grace or
seduction of their being is lost upon him. Like the painter of
the Sacred and Profane Love, he illustrates the beauty, he ex-
presses the significance, of flesh. But little past thirty, his pro-
ductiveness during thejast twelve or thirteen years is remarkable.
He began with a thin volume of verse : Intermezzo in rime; then
wrote Il Piacere in prose ; then in verse l'Isottèo ; La Chimera ;
Elegie Romane ; Odi Navali ; Poema Taradisiaco. Without
mentioning all his prose romances, brilliant as they are in many
respects, and foreign to English taste, the most acceptable is the
last one : " the golden book of spirit and sense," the Tre Verglne
delle Rocce.





MLA citation: Benson, Eugene. "Gabriele D'Annunzio." The Yellow Book 11 (Oct 1896): 283. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University. Web. [Date of access]. http://www.1890s.ca/HTML.aspx?s=YBV11_benson_gabriele.html