Poet Zeichen dies

Premier Renzi hails 'acute, clear voice'

(ANSA) - Rome, July 5 - Italian poet Valentino Zeichen died Tuesday in a Rome clinic at the age of 78. The poet, who famously lived in a sort of hut beside the River Tiber, had recently had a stroke.
    Zeichen debuted with an acclaimed collection called Area di Rigore (Penalty Area) in 1974.
    His last work was a novel, La Sumera (The Sumerian Girl), 2015.
    Other works included Ricreazione (1979), Museo interiore (1987), Gibilterra (1991), Metafisica Tascabile (1997), Ogni cosa a ogni cosa ha detto addio (2000), Matrigna (2002, novel), Passeggiate romane (2004), and Neomarziale (2006).
    Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said Zeichen was "one of the most acute and clearest voices in Italian poetry".
    "A mild-mannered man, a protagonist outside the usual patterns of the cultural scene, always one step behind and one step beyond, he will be greatly missed". Born in Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia), the son of an Italian-speaking Istrian gardener, Zeichen moved with his family to Parma as a refugee. In 1950 they moved to Rome, where Zeichen lived the rest of his life.
    He began to write poems at the age of 18, influenced by surrealist authors like Breton and Prévert.
    Zeichen's first novel, Tana per tutti, was released in 1983.
    Zeichen's poetry has been praised for its ability to quickly hook the reader, and has a subtle humour within it. A literary award named after him, the Premio Zeichen, was held every December in Rome. Zeichen himself was the only member of the jury.
   

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