Italian Club of St. Louis February Program Recap: An Unexpected Poet

Mar 17, 2017 328

BY: Dr. Anthony Perrone

The Italian Club welcomed guests from the DeGregorio, DiMartino and Ferrara families whose ancestors hailed from Palazzo Adriano, the town of Antonino Bufalo, the subject of our February meeting.  Antonino Bufalo (b. 1854, d. 1929), was a farmer by birth, a provincial road inspector by profession and a self taught poet by avocation. Like other classical poets from antiquity he chronicled with a keen sense of observation, intuitive interpretation and lyrical inspiration, events that unfolded in his town, in his personal life, in Italy and the world at large, spanning a period of approximately thirty five years from the early 1890’s to the late 1920’s.

The St. Louis connection of his manuscript began in 1929, the year in which the poet died.  One of his three sons, who had emigrated to St. Louis a decade earlier, went back to Palazzo Adriano to settle the family estate with his siblings.  On his return he brought with him some of his father’s effects, among which was this manuscript of four hundred plus now brittle pages of legibly handwritten hendecasyllable verses, grouped in royal octave stanzas, written in archaic Sicilian dialect.  It is a professionally bound volume that has never been printed, nor published.

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