Giuseppe Schirò

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Giuseppe Schirò (Arbërisht: Zef Skiroi; Piana degli Albanesi, August 10, 1865 – Napoli, February 17, 1927)[1] was an Arbëreshë neo-classical poet, linguist, publicist and folklorist from Sicily. His literary work marked the transition to modern Albanian literature in Italy.[1]

After attending the Italo-Albanian Seminar of Palermo, he graduated in law. In the first period of its activity the Schirò treated the patriotic tradition of Albanian literature, deepened the knowledge of tradition and patriotic folklorist. Soon he devoted himself exclusively to literary studies, creating the classics of Albanian literature. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, has established the literary activity of Zef Schirò.

He has composed a lyric polished and elegant, author of the poem "Mili e Hajdhia" (1891), in a pure language and emblematic for the fusion of multiple elements in a koine Albanians dialect. In addition to the idyllic poem "Mili e Hajdhia", of popular inspiration, and the "Rapsodie Arbëreshe" (Albanians Rapsody), with refined Albanians poems, wrote the fictionalized story in verse "Te Dheu i Huaj" (In a Foreign Country) and the poem "Mino", dedicated to his son, brutally killed by extremist politicians.

Among other major works include: "Kënga Liktori" (Songs of Liktor), "Këthimi" (The Return), "Këngë Tradicionale të Kolonivet Arbëreshe në Siçili" (Traditional Songs of the Albanian Colonies of Sicily), "Këngë popullore e Shqipërisë" (Folk songs of Albania). The collection of poems "Kënkat e luftës" (The songs of the battle) of 1907, inspired by the ideal of Albanian independence, the poet poses one of the most vibrant singers of "Rilindja Shqiptare" (Albanian Resurgence). On the same theme dedicated to the publication "Fiamuri i Arbërit" (The Albanian flag) and the book "The Albanians and the Balkan question", both in 1904.

He was among the most important representatives of Albanian literature of the nineteenth century, one of the finest masters of style of Albanian literature, and author of numerous works that have received considerable acclaim from critics and the public, especially the following works: "Rapsodie Arbëreshe" (1887), "Milo e Haidhe" (1889-1907), "Te Dheu i Huaj" (1900-1920), "Këthimi" (1925).

No less significant were the surveys conducted in the field of literary traditions popular: "Këngë Tradicionale të Kolonivet Arbëreshe në Siçili" (Sacred songs of the Colonies Albanians in Sicily, 1890-1907) and the monumental work entitled "Këngë Tradicionale dhe Sprova të tjera të Kolonivet Arbëreshe të Siçilisë" (Traditional Songs and Other Essays of the Colonies Albanians in Sicily, 1927). Zef Schirò had a strong friendship with prominent cultural personalities of Albanian and Italian.

Unlike other poets Albanians, Giuseppe Schirò does not close in the parlance of their own country or region, he draws from all the Albanian spoken, with a view to unify them. Was the first professor of Albanian Language and Literature at Naples, he taught from 1900 until his death. As an intellectual and professor spoke in the Italian cultural and political circles the idea of the Albanian Nation and became a promoter of publishing initiatives, such as magazines "Arbri i rii" and "Flamuri i Shqiperisë",

The poet knew the local boss Francesco Cuccia mayor of Piana degli Albanesi, before "dei Greci", in April 1922, for this reason he was accused of having supported and then to be against the Nicola Barbato, the socialist leader of the town. Schirò has never officially supported nor the fascist movement nor the socialist movement. The wife of a socialist Italo-Albanian killed, after his death, says that he publicly defended the Mafia administration of Cuccia several times, considering it "the most suitable for the peaceful development of the best qualities of its people," able to open "a new period in our history." In a speech from the balcony of City Hall, he praised Cuccia to have had the merit and the courage "to have done away with that red flag of socialism from our community."[2]


  1. ^ a b Albanian literature: a short history, by Robert Elsie, Centre for Albanian Studies (London, England), pp. 61-64
  2. ^ (Italian) Il coraggio di Mariano Barbato, La Sicilia, January 17, 2010