In his youth Carducci was the centre of a group of young men determined to overthrow the prevailing Romanticism and to return to classical models. Giuseppe Parini, Vincenzo Monti, and Ugo Foscolo were his masters, and their influence is evident in his first books of poems (Rime, 1857; later collected in Juvenilia  and Levia gravia [1868; "Light and Serious Poems"]). He showed both his great power as a poet and the strength of his republican, anticlerical feeling in his hymn to Satan, "Inno a Satana" (1863), and in his Giambi ed epodi (1867-69; "Iambics and Epodes"), inspired chiefly by contemporary politics. Its violent, bitter language reflects the virile, rebellious character of the poet.
Rime nuove (1887; The New Lyrics) and Odi barbare (1877; The Barbarian
Odes) contain the best of Carducci's poetry: the evocations of the Maremma
landscape and the memories of childhood; the lament for the loss of
his only son; the representation of great historical events; and the
ambitious attempts to recall the glory of Roman history and the pagan
happiness of classical civilization. Carducci's enthusiasm for the classical
in art led him to adapt Latin prosody to Italian verse, and his Odi
barbare are written in metres imitative of Horace and Virgil. His research
in Italian literature was warmed by his poetic imagination and style,
and his best prose works equal his poetry.
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