Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Ippolito Pindemonte
An Italian poet of noble birth, born at Verona, 13 Nov., 1753; died there, 18 Nov., 1828. He received his training at the Collegio di San Carlo in Modena. As a result of much travelling in Italy and foreign lands he acquired a wide acquaintance, and formed close relations with many men of letters, He witnessed the beginnings of the Revolution in Paris, and poetized thereupon in his "Francia". Thence he went to London, Berlin, and Vienna. In 1791 he returned to Verona, with health impaired and saddened at the failure of his hopes for the regeneration and aggrandizement of Italy, and devoted his last years to study and religious practices. The chief poetical works of Pindemonte are the "Poesie" and "Prose campestri", the "Sepolcri" and his version of the Odyssey. The "Poesie" and "Prose campestri" were published between 1788 and 1794; the most admired portions are those entitled "Alla Luna", "Alla Salute", "La Melanconia", and "La Giovinezza". They evince his reading of the English descriptive poets. The "Sepolcri" is in the form of a letter and is largely a response to the similarly named poem of Foscolo, with whose views, respecting the patriotic and other emotions evoked by the aspect of the tombs of the well-deserving, he sympathizes; he rebukes Foscolo, however, for having neglected to recount, among the other emotions, that of the comfort brought to us by religious considerations. The influence of the English poet Gray is noticeable in this work. Upon his version of the Odyssey he seems to have laboured fifteen years, and is quite faithful to the letter and spirit of the original. It appeared in print in 1822. His lesser works include among others several tragedies, the "Ulisse", the "Geta e Caracalla" the "Eteocle e Polinice", and especially the "Arminio", composed in 1804 and revealing the influence exerted upon him by the Ossianic matter. In prose he produced the "Clementina", and a short story, "Abaritte", which imitates Johnson's "Rasselas". He left a large correspondence exchanged with noted persons of his time and a few minor documents.
Poesie originali di I. Pindemonte (Florence, 1858-9); Odissea, ed. LONZOGUS, SANSONI; TORRACA, I. Sepolcri di I. Pindemonte in Discussioni (Leghorn, 1888); MONTANARI, Storia della vita de opere di I. P. (Venice, 1855); ZANELLA, I. Pindemonte e gli Inglesi in Paralleli letterari (Verona, 1885).
J. D. M. FORD.