The bicentenary of his death offers an opportunity to pay Carlo Porta the homage he deserves, returning "his" poet to Milan.
Too long misunderstood, reduced to a cheerful speck or singer of a lost Milanin, only a few decades ago - thanks above all to the work of Dante Isella - Carlo Porta has regained his rightful place on the shelf of the "great Lombards", next to his outspoken ones admirers such as Alessandro Manzoni, Carlo Cattaneo, Carlo Dossi, Delio Tessa, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Giovanni Testori. In fact, Porta is not only the best poet of the Milanese dialect tradition. He is also the greatest nineteenth-century Italian verse narrator: the first to give a voice to the people - servants, cobblers, prostitutes - with surprisingly intense effects, which exceed the comedian's territories with momentum.
From the palaces of the aristocratic “damazze” to the railing houses, from the gallery of the Scala to the ballrooms, from prayers in a church to the voices that chase each other in the streets, Porta drags us into the sparkling Milan of the early nineteenth century. We are in the presence of a stubbornly citizen poet: his is the gaze of a bourgeois, a citizen who has assimilated the ideals of justice, freedom, equality of the Revolution. Hostile to ecclesiastical and noble privileges, allergic to weapons and uniforms, "el sur Carlo milanes" (as he defines himself in a sonnet) spends his short life working in the financial administration, faithful to the values of peace and industriousness, which will inspire the myth of Milan moral capital.