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Selected Poems and Translations

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Edited by Clive Wilmer

Selected Poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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Categories: 19th Century
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (220 pages)
(Pub. May 1997)
£9.95 £8.96
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • Sun-steeped in fire, the homeward pinions sway
       Above the dovecotes-tops;
    And clouds of starlings, ere they rest with day,
    Sink, clamorous like mill-waters, at wild play,
       By turns in every copse:

    Each tree heart-deep the wrangling rout receives, -
       Save for the whirr within,
    You could not tell the starlings from the leaves;
    Then one great puff of wings, and the swarm heaves
       Away with all its din.

                                            from 'Sunset Wings'
    For critics like John Ruskin and Walter Pater, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1892) was one of the great creative figures of the day, a painter and a poet of major stature. Yeats and the young Pound regarded him as an exemplary figure of solitary dedication to art and beauty.

    Rossetti's most original work may have been in preparing the way for the modernists who in turn dethroned him. He called the sonnet 'a moment's monument', and his best short lyrics are instants of compressed emotion cut free of time. In this, as in the suggestiveness of his imagery, he anticipates the French Symbolists. He can also be regarded as the founder of modern verse translation, not only for the freshness of his versions but also for his choice of poets - Villon, Cavalcanti and the young Dante.

    In this selection Clive Wilmer has made a personal choice, emphasizing the 'pure poetry' of the lyrics at the expense of the more conventionally Victorian monologues and narratives. He has also included a generous selection from the translations, and provided a biographical and critical introduction.
    Table of Contents


    Note on the text

    Suggestions for further reading

    From The House of Life

    The Blessed Damozel

    My Sister's Sleep


    The Portrait

    The Card-Dealer


    A Trip to Paris and Belgium

    Near Brussels-a Half-way Pause

    Antwerp and Bruges

    Sonnets on Pictures:

    For Our Lady of the Rocks (Leonardo)

    For A Venetian Pastoral (Giorgione)

    For An Allegorical Dance of Women (Mantegna)

    For Ruggiero and Angelica (Ingres)

    For A Virgin and Child (Memmelinck)

    Sister Helen

    Dawn on the Night-Journey

    A young Fir-wood

    The Mirror

    During Music

    The Honeysuckle

    Sudden Light

    The Woodspurge

    Even So

    A Little While

    Sunset Wings

    Three Shadows

    Verses for Rossetti's own works of art:

    Aspecta Medusa

    Astarte Syriaca

    Spheral Change

    'I saw the Sibyl at Cumae'

    The Orchard-Pit


    From Dante and His Circle:

    St Francis of Assisi

    Frederick II

    Guido Guinicelli

    Giacomino Pugliesi

    Ubaldo di Marco

    Folgore da San Geminiano

    Pier Moronelli

    Niccolò degli Albizzi

    Dante Alighieri

    Guido Cavalcanti

    Cino da Pistoia

    Poems from the French:

    Anon: 'John of Tours'

    Francois Villon

    Index of Titles and First Lines
    Clive Wilmer
    ... read more
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