Complete Poems of Michelangelo / Edition 2

Complete Poems of Michelangelo / Edition 2

3.0 1
by Michelangelo

ISBN-10: 0226080331

ISBN-13: 9780226080338

Pub. Date: 10/15/1998

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

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


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

Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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Table of Contents

I. The Long Beginning (1475-1532)
1. A man who's happy many a year, one hour
2. Brow burning, in cool gloom, as sundown shears
3. I was happy, with fate favoring, to abide
4. How joyfully it shows, the garland there
5. A goiter it seems I got from this backward craning
6. If any of those old proverbs, lord, make sense
7. Who's this that draws me forcibly to you?
8. O God, O God, O God, how can I be
9. He Who made all there is, made every part
10. Chalices hammered into sword and helmet!
11. How much less torment to breathe out my soul
12. How could I, since it's so
13. Fame keeps the epitaphs where they lie
14. The Day and the Night speak
15. Seeing I'm yours, I rouse me from afar
16. From one all loveliness and all allure
17. Rancorous heart, cruel, pitiless, through showing
18. Though shouldered from the road I chose When young
19. Fine lass or lady, they
20. Sweeter your face than grapes are, stewed to mush
21. Once born, death's our destination
22. What's to become of me? What's this you're doing
23. I was, for years and years now, wounded, killed
24. I made my eyes an entryway for poison
25. When with a clanking chain a master locks
26. Uproot a plant—there's no way it can seal
27. Flee from this Love, you lovers; flee the flame!
28. Because there's never a time I'm not enchanted
29. All rage, all misery, all show of strength
30. From eyes of my beloved one, come burning
31. Love in your eyes? no; life and death are there
32. I live for sinning, for the self that dies
33. Were it true that, besides my own, another's arms
34. Where my love lives is nowhere in my heart
35. The eyelid, shadowing, doesn't interfere
36. My lover stole my heart, just over there
37. In me there's only death; my life's in you
38. He who beguiles both time and death together
39. For a would from the searing arrows Love lets fly
40. WHen blithely Love would lift me up to heaven
41. O noble soul, in whom, as mirrored, show
42. Pray tell me, Love, if what my eyes can see
43. My reason, out of sorts with me, deplores
44. When to that beauty that I saw before
45. It well may be, so vehement my sighing
46. If my rough hammer shapes the obdurate stone
47. When the occasioner of many a sigh
48. Just as a flame, by wind and weather flailed
49. Your beauty, Love, stuns mortal reckonings
50. What's to become of her, long years from now
51. Alas! Alas! for the way I've been betrayed
52. Were one allowed to kill himself right here
53. Who rides by night on horseback, come the day
54. I do believe, if you were made of stone
55. Though quite expensive, look, I've bought you this
56. My death is what I love on; seems to me
57. If I'm more alive because love burns and chars me

II. Three Loves (1532-1547)
58. If longings for the immortal, which exalt
59. If pure devotion, passion without stain
60. You know, my lord, that I too know you know
61. If, when it caught my eye first, I'd been bolder
62. Only with fire can men at forge and flue
63. So fond is fire of the frigid stone it waits
64. If fire can melt down steel and shatter flint
65. Just when I'm lost in adoration of you
66. Maybe, so I'd look kindly on souls in need
67. A new and more commendable delight
68. Then there's this giant—tall! So tall he can't
69. Nature knows what it's doing: one cruel as you
70. O cruel star, or say instead, cruel will
71. I have your letter, thank you, as received
72. If, through our eyes, the heart's seen in the face
73. Now that I'm banned and routed from the fire
74. I weep, I burn—burn up!—my heart thereby
75. Too much! the way he flaunts himself around
76. Whether or not the light I long for, sent
77. Supposing the passionate fire your eyes enkindle
78. From grief I cherished to a rueful laugh
79. Blissful spirit, thanks to whom new passion
80. I really believed, that first great day when, awed
81. In everything I see, the meaning's plain
82. Not eve, in dreams sent soaring, can I imagine
83. What in your handsome face I see, my lord
84. From ink, from pen in hand we see outflow
85. Having, my friend, your letter here in hand
86. Already burdened with a heavy heart
87. I wish I'd want what I don't want, Lord, at all
88. By a face of fiery cold, I'm set aflame
89. Through your fine eyes I see such mellow light
90. I'm dearer to me, much more, than ever I was
91. So I can best endure
92. Although time presses hard and prods us on
93. Should the senses' rapturous burning override
94. Kindly to others, to itself unkind
95. Give back to my eyes their flow, O spring, O river
96. With all my heart I love you; if not so
97. With heart of sulphur, flesh of tinder too
98. Why ease the tension of this wild desire
99. What a chance I had! I should have, while I could
100. When heaven confirmed your brilliance, most of all
101. The night prevails where Phoebus—that's our sun
102. O night, comforting night, dark though you are
103. Every shut-in room or space, every covered one
104. The One Who made, and from utter nothing too
105. My gaze saw no mere mortal on the day
106. From heaven it ventured forth, there must return
107. Drawn to each lovely thing, my doting eyes
108. No rest here for the wicked, as folk say
109. Not always so prized and cherished by us all
110. I'm here to say you've given earth your all
111. My lady, if it's true
112. For a safe haven, for escape at last
113. No slightest chance on earth her heavenly eyes
114. Easily you confound
115. Wiles, guiles, smiles, gold and pearls, her gala ways
116. I wouldn't if I could, Love, check the urge
117. If right desire takes wing
118. Although my heart had often been aflame
119. From the first whimper to the expiring sigh
120. Time now good-byes were said
121. Just as you cannot not be lovely here
122. If fire, so quick to char
123. The more it seems I agonize, the more
124. My lady is so impetuous, devil-may-care
125. Such wealth of promise lies
126. If the soul, in truth, from body once set free
127. Not death so much, but its terror rescues me
128. The fear of death! Who'd shove
129. By light more brilliant of a star more bright
130. No doubt much peril lies
131. From beneath two arching brows
132. Whenever my past unrolls before these eyes
133. Life's final hours: brought there by many a year
134. O blessed souls, who high in heaven delight
135. With much of time and life gone, all the more
136. Flooded, the soul pours out
137. If, to rejoice, you crave our tears and woe
138. Humbly I bow my shoulders, bear the yoke
139. In lovelier and crueller flesh than yours
140. If the soul returns, that last
141. If I'm to believe my eyes now, your response
142. I think it may be, so
143. Life's quick and brief; the more my days fly by
144. At times I project ahead
145. If she rejoices in my tears, and you
146. Looks thrown away on others
147. Please tell me, Love, if that lady had a soul
148. I'd feel the more secure
149. I'll surely be thought a dullard in talent, art
150. Great mercy, my lady, as likely as great pain
151. Nothing the best of artists can conceive
152. As by subtracting, my lady, on creates
153. A mould's not alone in this
154. My lady, you raise me so
155. Your kindness to me, and the ways of fate <

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