Umberto Saba was born Umberto Poli in 1883. He married Carolina Woelfler in 1909, and their only child, Linuccia, was born the following year. Their financial problems were eased when Saba bought a bookshop in Trieste in 1919. The first edition of his great Canzoniere, ‘a sort of Odyssey of man in our times’, was published at his own expense in 1921. He described his as a life which was ‘relatively poor in external events but rich, at times excruciatingly so, in emotions and inner resonances’. He died in Gorizia in 1957. After reading Classics and Modern Languages at Merton College, Oxford, Patrick Worsnip worked for more than forty years as a correspondent and editor for Reuters news agency, with postings in Italy, Russia, Poland, Iran, Lebanon, the US and the UK. Since retiring in 2012, he has devoted himself to translation from Italian and Latin, and to magazine articles on Italian poetry. He divides his time between Cambridge and Umbria, Italy. He is married, with one son.