Martin Armstrong returns with a poem by Pietro Mastri for translation into strict sonnet form (type not specified) or using the original:
Mastri, who was born in 1868, had died on 20 February 1932 – that is, just as Armstrong was due to set a competition. His real name was Pirro Masetti – i.e. his poetic name was an anagram. I can’t find any record of his having been translated into English.
The winners are A.W., and Barbara Barclay Carter. It’s not surprising that the latter was in the running, even if Armstrong berates the entry as tame, since she had learned Italian in the last year of university, and she was the translator of the writings of a prominent Italian anti-Fascist exile, Luigi Sturzo, the leader of the Italian Popular Party, with whom she shared a house. Born in 1900 (she died in 1951), she was half Anglo-Irish and half American, but grew up in England. She converted to Catholicism in 1921. She also wrote a novel woven around the figure of Dante, which was published in 1929. Her later work included scholarly studies of Italian writers, and all her work has Italy as its focus. She wrote for the Manchester Guardian, and had been the only English journalist at the Savona trial in 1927 – which was a political trial against Italian democratic socialists (there is reference here in a short biography of Pertini).
Here are the winners:
The rather essay-like instruction for 102B runs “‘A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand’ shows a much noble and more adventurous attitude to life than ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. You have to write an epigram ’embodying this statement’. Hmm. Not much fun. The adjudication offers advice on the epigram, and goes on to add that the competition clearly asked for direct reference to the proverb (which it didn’t). The winners are W. Snow and Alice Herbert:
However, that’s not all in this issue. Ciel, a reasonably regular winner and entrant (one prize already in 1932) has died, and below the competition, an epitaph is printed by a fellow-competitor, with a note: here it is –