il poeta Lino Curci

     Lino Curci was born in Naples on March 1st, 1912, only child of Giuseppe Curci (1884-1953) and Maria Giannone (1883-1961). 
After graduating in law and in political sciences, in 1937 he moved to Rome, where he became part of the journalistic environment as a subeditor and a special correspondent of the daily "La Tribuna", a political and literary newspaper of national importance.

Poetry, steep mountain, I cling to you
for not falling, I hear in the abyss
the shout of winds, of life.
What a condition I chose,
I said 'yes' since the first action.
I embrace the wall
with these aged hands,
with a broken soul.
But in you I keep on believing
that a word is enough to save me.

(posthumous published in 1976 by "La Fiera Letteraria")        


      During the war he was a correspondent to the Fleet, and gathered his experiences in the beautiful book "L'equipaggio -The crew" of 1942 (Ed.Flaccovio, Palermo). Shortly after he published his first collection of poems, "I Canti del Sud - Songs of the South" (with a preface by Silvio D'Amico. Milano 1942).

      In 1943, Lino abandoned his full time journalistic activity to devote himself completely to poetry, that he considered and practised as a priesthood, a total responsibility, a rigorous daily commitment. However, he continued to write for many newspapers and periodicals including Il Mattino, Il Giornale d'Italia, Il Giornale della Domenica, Antologia, Nuova Presenza, Galleria, L'Osservatore politico letterario, Letteratura, La Fiera Letteraria, L'Europa Letteraria.

    In 1951, Lino published his second collection of verses, "Mi rifarņ vivente - I'll make myself living again", where the spiritual tension of his religious faith produced results of extraordinary lyric persuasion, showing that he was one of the greatest and frankest Catholic-inspired poets of the new generation.

The way he had chosen was difficult and also unusual, at least in Italy, but Lino faced up to it with a lively self-confidence, avoiding the easy rhetoric and taking up a solemnity not devoid of manly melancholy: these qualities are particularly evident in his following collections "L'esule e il Regno - The exile and the Kingdom"(Ed.Cappelli, Bologna 1955) and "Un fuoco nella notte - A fire in the night" (Ed.Vallecchi, Firenze 1959).

il poeta Lino Curci

(from "The exile and the Kingdom", Ist part) 

        Grant me, Lord,
that my sorrow won't be disorder any more,
that the work will be fulfilled: that my day
won't end in a late repentance.
And that my secret story will prevail
over any event and condition,
only in it You speak and Your command
shows itself. If You give to each one
a command, stronger than any vain dream,
to perform it until life will last,
You promised to the obedients a time
when the soul will have its harvest.
Consacrate and distinguish my path
of one among many, don't let me waste
what you gave me and let richness rise
from my sweat. Nothing belongs to me
that didn't come from You: don't let me be
in debt of love to my source.
And don't let me forget this order,
this certainty of being alive, and let me be
worthy of fighting and climbing again to You,
staring at your invisible face, glowing
with your clear and silent voice.
"Whom shall I send, who will go for me
I answered,
ready on your way, as the lark
answers to the first light of its sky,
the wave to the moon, the spring to the wind;
as the valley turns into hill
its lowness. And don't let me wipe out
your image from me, let me increase it,
and give me strength towards my rise.

L. C.  


From Lino Curci's preface

to "The exile and the Kingdom":

     In November 1941, in an article for "La Tribuna", I wrote: "If someone told me: organize all your thoughts in a system and show us what is in the centre of the system, I should say by now: vocation... The way of vocation is offered to man, to this fallen angel, to this dispossessed king, to return on the throne".

     In August 1954, I ended my report at the First Convention of the young Italian postwar poetry with these words: "We won't be able to give back a meaning to human existence without placing it again in front of God. 

A restored 'religio' of the person will be possible only in the renewed balance of a Christian humanism, which will graft it again into its transcendent destiny and promote the free development of human vocation, because man was sent on earth to realize a divine thought, that one and nothing else. 

Il poeta Lino Curci

     God stays at the base of this process, He is the push: and the individual that gets movement from it,  lives afterwards his own original life, bound to the Absolute he came from and nevertheless free... of a freedom which is divine obedience...".

My long vicissitude of faithfulness to a single thought developed between these two dates and my poem "L'esule e il regno (The exile and the Kingdom)" took shape from it. 

Articles and proses, published on daily newspapers or reviews as "La Fiera Letteraria", have beaten the moments of this one and only meditation, the eagerness to steer towards a divine stability the faint dream of life and to find a deep justification to it... 



      He was a poet born in South Italy, but in his verses there weren't many traces of the southern sorrow: very soon, he had searched elsewhere and deeply the reasons of his vocation, in a God that he revived dramatically, in the same way as the great Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni.

     In his poetry there was an anxious responsibility that tried to turn from earthly into heavenly, in a framework of lighted correspondences between the man and his universal fate.

     At the time of the first space conquests, while the world was pervaded by a sense of triumph and mad pride,  in Lino's poetry there was a turning point, a further study in depth, which led to the beautiful collections "Gli operai della terra - The workers of earth"(Ed.Rizzoli, Milan 1967) and "Con tutto l'uomo  -  With the whole man (mankind)"(Ed.Rizzoli, Milan 1973).

     These collections took this conquest back to an intense religious dimension, giving a voice of hope in God to human beings who, at last, find in poetry the deep reasons of their place on earth, in a poetry whose meaning is an immense categorical, a spiritual rule, an absolute morality and the destination of a journey without return.  Indeed, every single poem of these collections  represents a moment of an only journey.

    He received many acknowledgements and prizes: among the most important ones, there were the Chianciano prize in 1950, the Camillo Sbarbaro prize in 1957, the Etna Taormina prize in 1968 and the Sebeto Prize in 1974.  


from "With the whole man (mankind)"

Here is the dreadful street
of the Christmas traffic jams, the shout
of the horns where the daily hell
becomes sharper;
and the sense of our redemption
which vanishes in the cold rain.

For the orgy of gifts the consumer age

devours itself, this turmoil
of larvas carrying umbrellas in the floodlit
shop which swallows them, and the jump
of the dealer on his prey.


born poor on this earth, do you remember the gifts
so rich which came from afar,
presents of kings. The cave, the journey, the star;
the lowest poverty on the straw and the fodder.

God of contradiction, among gold and incense,

the donkey and the ox,
burst inside me because I came
to curse these days. Burst
in the hard tortoise of cars
caught in the motionless streets;
and in all of us involved in the system
to buy and to sell ourselves, poor God.

I lost my childhood and the love for tomorrow,

my present is blind between past and future.
And now you have truly to be born
between the donkey and the ox, as every year,
a bare birth for a desert heart.

You have to be born with us in the mood of time.

To tell us that the rich presents
to you justly addressed
were for another one, for a king
not known yet.
Together with you we must begin again,
and you have to grow up
to throw the merchants out of the temple.

L. C.   


     Lino unexpectedly died on December 26th, 1975, and was carried from Rome to Naples, in the main salon of the Curci Foundation, the cultural institution established by his uncle Alberto Curci. At that time, Lino was its president.
      On that occasion, the salon was turned into a mortuary chapel.
     From there, after the religious blessing, his mortal remains were carried to their last home, the family chapel in the ancient area of the neapolitan "Poggioreale" cemetery.


The silent trees
waiting for the rain said to me: peace.
On the grey mountain I answered nothing
because nothing was the time
fallen in the twilight. Not a background for other dreams
neither rhythm of thoughts. Only a motionless
great wait, someone who was going to speak
in the silence of the number, of the aligned wood,
the present purity of an eternal assembly
towards the most exposed man in the forest of men
as if everything was recorded
without any more escape.

    (posthumous published in 1976 by "La Fiera Letteraria")              

One of the posthumous articles,
including a memorial speech by the ex-president of the Italian Republic, 
senator Giovanni Leone

Lino Curci's Funeral

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