Ignazio Buttitta

Ignazio Buttitta (19 September 1899 - 5 April 1997) was a Sicilian dialectal poet. Born at Bagheria into a poor family, after having taken part in World War I Buttitta joined the Italian Socialist Party and around this time started to write poetry in Sicilian. His first volume of poetry published was Sintimintali (Sentimental), followed in 1928 by Marabedda. Soon after, Buttitta relocated to Milan, where he achieved some success in the commercial world while continuing to pursue his passion for literature. Due to his political leanings, he had to leave Milan during World War II; after which he joined the Resistance, was jailed by the fascists, and narrowly avoided the death penalty, before returning to Milan, where he spent time with Sicilian intellectuals such as Elio Vittorini, Salvatore Quasimodo and Renato Guttuso. In 1954 he published his new book of poetry, Lu pani si chiama pani (The bread is called bread), financed by the Italian Communist Party. In this volume he defined himself as Pueta e latru (Poet and thief), an allusion to the manner in which he would pass among the people like a thief, appropriating their feelings, leaving behind a sentimental thread.

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