Alda Merini

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Alda Merini
Alda Merini.jpg
Born (1931-03-21)March 21, 1931
Milan, Italy
Died November 1, 2009(2009-11-01) (aged 78)
Milan, Italy
Resting place Monumental Cemetery of Milan
Occupation writer, poet
Language Italian
Nationality Italian
Notable awards Viareggio Prize, Premio Dessì
Years active 1953-2008

Alda Merini (21 March 1931 – 1 November 2009) was an Italian writer and poet. She was born and died in Milan.


Alda Merini was quite young when, as a poet, she gained the attention and the admiration of other Italian writers, such as Giorgio Manganelli, Salvatore Quasimodo and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Her writing style is described as intense, passionate and mystic, and it bears an influence from Rainer Maria Rilke.

Some of her poems concern her time in a mental home (1964 to the late 1970s) and are often of a long and dramatic nature. She explores the "otherness" of madness as part of creative expression. The poem "The other truth. Diary of a dropout" (L'altra verità. Diario di una diversa) is considered by some as her masterpiece, Scheiwiller, 1986.

A marble gravestone on the wall of a crypt
Alda Merini's grave at the Monumental Cemetery of Milan in 2015

In 2009 she received Italian Republic for Poetry.[1] In 1996 she was also nominated by the "Académie Francaise" as candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In 2007 she won the Elsa Morante Ragazzi Award with ‘Alda e Io – Favole’ written in cooperation with the fable writer Sabatino Scia. Giorgio Napolitano then President of the Italian Republic described her, at her death, as an "inspired and limpid poetic voice."

Poems to music[edit]

  • 2004: Milva canta Merini, album of Italian singer Milva. Music by Giovanni Nuti.
  • 2015: Dio, composition by Francesco Trocchia for female choir and piano; lyrics by Alda Merini (from Francesco 2007)


  1. ^ "E' morta la poetessa Alda Merini – cantò il dolore degli esclusi" (in Italian). La Repubblica. November 1, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2009. 

External links[edit]