Alla sua Donna: Leopardi's Poetics of Absence

Master's Thesis


The canzone Alla sua Donna is one of the most overlooked achievements in Giacomo Leopardi’s poetry. Composed in September 1823 — an “opera di sei giorni,” as Leopardi himself calls it in the autograph — the poem is a turning point in Leopardi’s artistic, philosophical, and existential itinerary. It immediately precedes the project Leopardi began in 1824: the Operette morali, a series of short prose narratives in which he starts to develop that negative philosophy that critics would label as “cosmic pessimism.” With the single exception of Al conte Carlo Pepoli, written in 1826, Alla sua Donna is the last poem that Leopardi wrote before a long period of “poetic silence,” interrupted in 1828 with the Canti Pisano-Recanatesi. The prominent positions of the poem in both the 1824 and 1835 editions of the Canti further suggest that Alla sua Donna played a crucial role in the development of Leopardi’s poetics.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04162014-134955

Author Martino Rabaioli
Advisor Sabrina Ferri
Contributor Sabrina Ferri, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Romance Languages and Literatures
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2014-05-18

Submission Date 2014-04-16
  • United States of America

  • absence

  • poetry

  • Leopardi

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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