99. Giuseppina Turrisi Colonna (1822 – 1848)

Poet born in Palermo, Colonna dies of childbirth when she was just 27 years old. Girl of good family, educated to develop his talents she started writing at age 14 (“Hymns”) developing her style from classic and religious to heroic poetry, singing of an Italy united from North to South.

In 1841, at age 19, just a few yeas after cholera had caused thousands of victims in Sicily, Giuseppina Turrisi Colonna published his first book of poems. Gathering inspiration from the contemporary panorama of desolation surrounding the survivors, to the point that recall the times of the ancient heroes, Giuseppina writes of Aldruda, who in 1174 led the the city of Ancona to liberation against the Germans and Venetians. She writes of Joan of Arc, of her dreams to become, like Joan, a beacon of freedom to awaken the “sicane minds”. The whole work is pervaded by love for her country and the call for its children to rise to the occasion and fight for unity. whole is primarily for the country, that of her children needs to rise.

In 1843, she receives a request, from Paris, to write a poem to be included in the “Parnassus of Italian contemporary poets”: a prestigious recognition. Colonna wrote an ode “To the Sicilian women”. Sicily has fallen and lost its luster. The ode is an appeal to all Sikelian women “Arise, my dearest, and for a lost Motherland/ through you may come courage and hope”. Only women can and must improve the fate of the homeland through educating children and forming of future citizens.

Colonna wrote newspaper articles on the controversial “The wheel” of Palermo and in 1846 she spent the summer in Florence, where with Le Monnier published a second volume of poems praised by critics. She is among the firsts to overcome the stifling concept of “Sicilian homeland” and constantly turns to women to drive a moral resurgence as the basis for a new political future and dreams of a united Italy.

Read More:
1. La Republican, http://palermo.repubblica.it/dettaglio/La-poetessa-femminista-che-incitava-alla-rivolta/1431373


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