“Stelle”, Ungaretti’s poem about new beginnings

We want to offer you an intense poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti entitled “Stars”, to reflect on the dichotomy “anguish and hope”, which often falls into our lives. Written in 1927, this poem is part of the collection “Sentimento del tempo” and belongs to the section entitled Dreams and agreements.

Here the compositions are short, characterized by formal elegance and a strong thematic concentration. Let’s read it and analyze it together to better understand what Ungaretti wanted to tell us.

Finding Hope

Ungaretti, as in all his poems, chooses to reflect on the anguish of life, trying to find a key of hope to face it. A hope capable of “caressing us”, heartening us. “Stelle” contains many profound reflections, expressed through complex symbolic meanings.

The fables mentioned by the hermetic poet at the beginning of the poem recall childhood, the world of innocence and hope. These tales continue today to shine like stars, that is, they are able to illuminate our purest part, despite the “darkness” of life. The stars also represent faith, which high and bright, seeks to guide man.

As we know, in the years of the great war (ie the years in which Ungaretti wrote), literature was able to perfectly describe the pessimism and fear of modern man. This is how fantasies and religious faith itself suffer the disillusions typical of mature age. That is why, subsequently, fairy tales are compared to leaves blown away by the wind.

What can we do then? When that world of dreams and hope is swept away?
We must acquire the ability to imagine and believe in a better horizon (another breath).
In just three stanzas, Ungaretti alternates childhood hope with the typical disappointments of adulthood, finally finding new hope.

Poetry, Stars

The tales come back to the top.
They will fall with the leaves in the first wind.
But come another breath,
will come back new sparkling.