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The Complete Poems of Michelangelo : Heritage of Sociology Ser. - Buonarroti Michelangelo

The Complete Poems of Michelangelo

Heritage of Sociology Ser.

Paperback Published: 1st January 1998
ISBN: 9780226080307
Number Of Pages: 208

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There is no artist more celebrated than Michelangelo. Yet the magnificence of his achievements as a visual artist often overshadow his devotion to poetry. Michelangelo used poetry to express what was too personal to display in sculpture or painting. John Frederick Nims has brought the entire body of Michelangelo's verse, from the artist's ardent twenties to his anguished and turbulent eighties, to life in English in this unprecedented collection. The result is a tantalizing glimpse into a most fascinating mind.

"Wonderful. . . . Nims gives us Michelangelo whole: the polymorphous love sonneteer, the political allegorist, and the solitary singer of madrigals."--Kirkus Reviews

"A splendid, fresh and eloquent translation. . . . Nims, an eminent poet and among the best translators of our time, conveys the full meaning and message of Michelangelo's love sonnets and religious poems in fluently rhymed, metrical forms."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The best so far. . . . Nims is best at capturing the sound and sense of Michelangelo's poetic vocabulary."--Choice

"Surely the most compelling translations of Michelangelo currently available in English."--Ronald L. Martinez, Washington Times

John Frederick Nims (1913-1999) was the author of eight books of poetry, including Knowledge of the Evening, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Among his many translations is The Poems of Saint John of the Cross, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Industry Reviews

Italian readers have long known that Michelangelo's poetry is far more than a footnote to his long career as an artist, but few English language translators have managed to render all three hundred or so poems by the famous Florentine. Wordsworth, Longfellow, and Emerson made half-hearted attempts, but John Addington Symonds's late Victorian versions - full of ornate poetic diction - were the standard until these wonderful translations by Nims, himself a master craftsman, whose "blunt, direct, plainspoken" diction perfectly matches Michelangelo's rough-talking poems and their formal complexities. With his biographical introductions, based on the well-documented lives of the artist, and his scholarly notes, Nims gives us Michelangelo whole: the polymorphus love sonneteer, the political allegorist, and the solitary singer of madrigals. (Kirkus Reviews)

The Long Beginning (1475-1532)
A man who's happy many a year, one hour
Brow burning, in cool gloom, as sundown shears
I was happy, with fate favoring, to abide
How joyfully it shows, the garland there
A goiter it seems I got from this backward craning
If any of those old proverbs, lord, make sense
Who's this that draws me forcibly to you?
O God, O God, O God, how can I be
He Who made all there is, made every part
Chalices hammered into sword and helmet!
How much less torment to breathe out my soul
How could I, since it's so
Fame keeps the epitaphs where they lie
The Day and the Night speak
Seeing I'm yours, I rouse me from afar
From one all loveliness and all allure
Rancorous heart, cruel, pitiless, through showing
Though shouldered from the road I chose When young
Fine lass or lady, they
Sweeter your face than grapes are, stewed to mush
Once born, death's our destination
What's to become of me? What's this you're doing
I was, for years and years now, wounded, killed
I made my eyes an entryway for poison
When with a clanking chain a master locks
Uproot a plant—there's no way it can seal
Flee from this Love, you lovers; flee the flame!
Because there's never a time I'm not enchanted
All rage, all misery, all show of strength
From eyes of my beloved one, come burning
Love in your eyes? no; life and death are there
I live for sinning, for the self that dies
Were it true that, besides my own, another's arms
Where my love lives is nowhere in my heart
The eyelid, shadowing, doesn't interfere
My lover stole my heart, just over there
In me there's only death; my life's in you
He who beguiles both time and death together
For a would from the searing arrows Love lets fly
WHen blithely Love would lift me up to heaven
O noble soul, in whom, as mirrored, show
Pray tell me, Love, if what my eyes can see
My reason, out of sorts with me, deplores
When to that beauty that I saw before
It well may be, so vehement my sighing
If my rough hammer shapes the obdurate stone
When the occasioner of many a sigh
Just as a flame, by wind and weather flailed
Your beauty, Love, stuns mortal reckonings
What's to become of her, long years from now
Alas! Alas! for the way I've been betrayed
Were one allowed to kill himself right here
Who rides by night on horseback, come the day
I do believe, if you were made of stone
Though quite expensive, look, I've bought you this
My death is what I love on; seems to me
If I'm more alive because love burns and chars me
Three Loves (1532-1547)
If longings for the immortal, which exalt
If pure devotion, passion without stain
You know, my lord, that I too know you know
If, when it caught my eye first, I'd been bolder
Only with fire can men at forge and flue
So fond is fire of the frigid stone it waits
If fire can melt down steel and shatter flint
Just when I'm lost in adoration of you
Maybe, so I'd look kindly on souls in need
A new and more commendable delight
Then there's this giant—tall! So tall he can't
Nature knows what it's doing: one cruel as you
O cruel star, or say instead, cruel will
I have your letter, thank you, as received
If, through our eyes, the heart's seen in the face
Now that I'm banned and routed from the fire
I weep, I burn—burn up!—my heart thereby
Too much! the way he flaunts himself around
Whether or not the light I long for, sent
Supposing the passionate fire your eyes enkindle
From grie
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226080307
ISBN-10: 0226080307
Series: Heritage of Sociology Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st January 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 2

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