Italian translations of "Poets to Come" highlight the complexity and the ambiguity of a poem that initially and deceptively seems simple and clear in its brevity. Among the five existing translations of "Poets to Come," those by Luigi Gamberale, Enzo Giachino, and Ariodante Marianni are part of a representative selection from, or a complete translation of, Whitman's 1881 or 1892 Leaves of Grass, while those by Giuseppe Conte and Antonio Troiano are included in smaller, more overtly personal, selections from the Deathbed edition. The two volumes of Canti scelti di Walt Whitman (1887, 1889) and Foglie di erba: con le due aggiunte e gli Echi della vecchiaia dell'edizione del 1900 (1907) translated by Gamberale, Foglie d'erba (1950) edited and translated by Giachino, and the representative selection translated by Marianni and published in 1988 mark turning points in the reception and domestication of Whitman's work in Italy over the past one hundred and twenty years. Responding to different cultural and ideological needs, they played important and well-differentiated roles in the history of Italian culture and of transatlantic literary exchanges.
Gamberale's, Giachino's, Marianni's, Conte's, and Troiano's translations are available below, and an introductory essay by Marina Camboni discusses the different translations. The final translation available below is the first Italian translation of the original published version of "Poets to Come," which first appeared in 1860 as "Chants Democratic 14."