Giovanni Pascoli (1855 – 1912), the son of an estate manager, grew up in an idyllic rural setting that was very soon to change. He lost his parents and other members of his family early on in tragic circumstances. Nevertheless, thanks to some financial help, he was able to continue his studies and gain a degree in classics, teaching first in high schools, later in universities. Eventually, in 1906, he was appointed to the chair of Italian Literature at Bologna University recently vacated by his friend and mentor, Giosuè Carducci. Despite his success both as a poet and classicist (he won prizes for his Latin poems), he was troubled by his early traumas and, although trying often to recreate those idyllic youthful conditions in real life, it is in his sometimes nostalgic and often ambiguous poetry that we see a version of traditional rural life that can be perceived in symbolic terms beyond the apparent simplicity. Like Carducci, he was able to adapt classical metres into his poetry, with the addition of rhyme, as here.
He died in Bologna, most probably of cirrhosis of the liver, the result of alcohol abuse.