Abba Abba is about two poets who may or may not have met in Rome in 1820-1821. One was John Keats, who was dying in a house on the Spanish Steps. The other was Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli a great poet, though little known outside Rome. The first part of the book is about Keats and Belli. The second part presents Belli himself as poet, translated by Mr. Burgess.