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Petrarch: Songs and Sonnets (2e)
Edited by Nicholas Kilmer
Translated by Nicholas Kilmer
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback 2e (184 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2011)
You call this action? Thought? This looking backwards?
Yes, you have catalogued kind words and sweet regards.
You’ll start again what means to kill you,
Look. Look into the heavens.
The birds weep. That is weeping, those green
I sit, thinking love, and writing: what heaven revealed,
“You devour yourself with grieving.Why?
You think death closed my eyes? No, they are opened.
‘Petrarch deserves to be valued as a real man, a careful thinker, a good poet,’ writes Nicholas Kilmer introducing his enlarged selection of the great Italian poet who lived from 1304 to 1374. Free in form yet holding close to the central impulses of Petrarch's inspiration, Kilmer's ‘readings’ in this bilingual edition present Petrarch as a confessional poet and a humane moralist of startling honesty.
The book is divided into two parts: poems written during Laura’s lifetime, and poems written after her death. In this last section Kilmer revisits Petrarch’s poems many years after translating the poems of Laura’s lifetime, thus completing his picture of Petrarch's abiding inspiration.
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