Summary Of Poem I am a creature of Giuseppe Ungaretti

I am a creature of Giuseppe Ungaretti: commentary on poetry with complete paraphrase and figures of speech. Brief explanation of the poem.



Valloncello di Cima Quattro on 5 August 1916

As this stone of S. Michele,
so cold,
so hard,
so dried up,
so refractory,
so totally

As this stone
is my cry
that is not seen

is discounted by



My inner cry is like this stone from Mount San Michele.

So cold, hard, dry, refractory, so totally devoid of soul.

Death is paid for through the guilt of having survived.



This poem is closely linked to Ungaretti’s experience of the First World War .

The poet compares his weeping to a stone on Mount San Michele and uses adjectives that express the sense of indifference towards death through a descending climax (cold, hard, dried up, refractory, totally disanimated).

Ungaretti is so used to such a pessimistic and hand-touched image that he cannot even feel pain. Her weeping is therefore an inner feeling, secret, without tears, hard just like the karst stone.

I am a creature of Giuseppe Ungaretti – Source: Getty-Images

The poem ends with a tragic conclusion: “death is discounted by living”, that is, the relief of death is paid for with the sufferings of life.

The relationship between life and death is reversed: death takes on a positive meaning in the face of life and not vice versa. Ugo Foscolo thought the same before him .

In this poem, taken from “L’Allegria”, Ungaretti makes the work take on a profound meaning, represented by a few simple words, the main characteristic of the movement called hermeticism.

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I’m a creature has a very free metric pattern, with fourteen lines divided into an octave and two triplets, with total absence of rhymes. Between the first two stanzas there is an enjambement .

In the whole poem there are only three verbal forms : two in the present, to give an idea of ​​the simplicity and universality of the story, and one in the gerund.

The periods are distinguishable only thanks to the division through the verses. Punctuation, typically hermetic, is totally absent.

There are both concrete (stone) and abstract (death, life) names compared to each other. The poem is characterized by a large number of adjectives highlighted by an ascending climax , of which the last term is even better highlighted by the adverb totally . 

Among the rhetorical figures we find:

  • simile(like this stone)
  • Many anaphoras(like this, like this …, like this stone)
  • An ascending climax(first verse.
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