Biography

The poet Giovanni Giuseppe Battaglia was born in Aliminusa on May 24, 1951 and died there on Nov. 2, 1995 at the age of 40 years. The poet wrote both in dialect and Italian.

After La Terra Vascia and La Piccola Valle di Alì, he moved to Rome and met Gaetano Giganti e Pio la Torre protagonists of the occupation of lands in Sicily. He attends clubs that revolve around the political left and publishes Campa padrone che l'erba cresce (1977) with the presentation of T. De Mauro and cover of V. Ognibene.

He often comes back to Palermo, he writes in the magazine "Sindacato" directed by Aurelio Colletta, and begins his collaboration with the CGIL in Rome. In the early 80s he published the first edition of L'Ordine di Viaggio (1982), a collection of his poetry in dialect and, simultaneously, "approaching the language" he published Luoghi di terra e cielo. For the theater he writes: Alchimia, G III, Tutti ubriachi prima della fine, represented in the Teatro dell'orologio in Rome.

He closed in 1984, stormily, the relationship with the CGIL and he returned to Sicily. It's a difficult time but rich in works and meetings. He knows Michele Perriera and, for its theater school Teatès, writes Girello and Astorio Imperatore. He publishes, all in 1986, Genesi and Requiem, I luoghi degli elementi, Sonatine. He meets Carla Martinetto, that will give stability to his love life, and he returned to Rome where he began his collaboration with the Istituto Luce. They are perhaps the happiest years of his life. He publishes: Rocciàs (1987), Inventario degli strumenti del Padre e la Madre (1987) and the second edition of L'ordine di viaggio (1988). In the early 90s arrived the first signs of the disease warning and fears but that he will not ever admit.

He gathers his poetic work until 1986 in Poesie (1991), he publishes: Il Libro delle variazioni lente and Il Libro Mistico (1992). He has a special relationship and solidarity with painters and with them he publishes Notte (1991) with Louis Granetto and a preface by Alessandro Masi Fantasimà with Vincenzo Ognibene, Frainteso a scatto with drawings of Gianfranco Barucchello and a note of Biancamaria Frabotta. The relationships that link him to Bruno Caruso and Nicholas D'Alessandro are the oldest.

He moved to Turin, Carla's city, but, when his relationship with her ended, he backs to Palermo. In the Gallery of Modern Art in Gallarate is shown Lo stomaco è arte (1993), he composes I dodici mesi di Canegrate (1994) publishes many works of painters and La conta delle ore. Since April 1994 he lives in Milan with the painter Daniele Oppi, in the farmstead of Guado along the Ticino and on July 18 he returnes to Sicily. "Scuvassi a Sonu lèggiu a giuccu" is the beginning of his last trip.

Giuseppe Battaglia is one of the most significant post-war poets of Sicily and he ranks with his own apperance in a more comprehensive view of contemporary Italian poetry.

It is not easy to outline the context in which the mature poetic personality of Battaglia; first of all it should not be separated from the national framework and the turmoil that sprang from the great social events of the war such as the crisis of civilization, the new migrations and the expansion of industrial society.

Battle is a dialect poet. In fact, since the early sixties there was in Italy an amazing flowering of poetic writing in dialect by young authors, unusual because in those years was outlined a real decline of vernacular culture in general, and in particular dialect. This can be explained by reconnecting to the fact that the dialect is seen as a linguistic tool less worn, offering an alternative to the literary language, and that the great post-war social poetry can not choose, because it is the language of the past, It can more effectively express the contemporary condition; the topics such as work, suffering, subordination, rebellion are all immersed in the dialect horizon, and at the same time give meaning to social and cultural revival that has marked the entire postwar period. It is in this context that fits the literary poetry of Battaglia, who in addition to being in the civil complaint is time to give a voice to the working classes and peasants of their community, with a hard and severe language typical of the "land".

His poetic universe revolves in a microcosm, Aliminusa, that from its poetry received a sort of certificate of existence. Don Cosimo Scordato tells about his poetry: "Battaglia's poetry is the space between his strong identity of rural culture and his difficult assimilation of the urban world; there are not prejudiced closures, but if you take the road of Battaglia city, his heart remains attached to his land and, with it, its face, its religion and its rituals, the singing of its birds, the scent of its flowers and the wind that shakes everything and caresses; however, the city is more tough than it is tiring in his mother's house and his father's work in the seasons of seed and harvesting, and the artist goes from a city that promises but does not keep, and a village that does not promise because it has already given, but it takes time to appreciate its gifts."