Sonnets for Michelangelo: A Bilingual Edition

Overview

The most published and lauded woman writer of early sixteenth-century Italy, Vittoria Colonna (1490–1547) in effect defined what was the "acceptable" face of female authorship for her time. Hailed by the generation's leading male literati as an equal, she was praised both for her impeccable command of Petrarchan style and for the unimpeachable chastity and piety of the persona she promoted through her literary works.

This book presents for the very first time a body of Colonna's...

See more details below
Hardcover (Bilingual edition)
$75.00
BN.com price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $54.95   
  • New (2) from $71.14   
  • Used (1) from $54.95   
Sonnets for Michelangelo: A Bilingual Edition

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$28.99
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$30.00 List Price

Overview

The most published and lauded woman writer of early sixteenth-century Italy, Vittoria Colonna (1490–1547) in effect defined what was the "acceptable" face of female authorship for her time. Hailed by the generation's leading male literati as an equal, she was praised both for her impeccable command of Petrarchan style and for the unimpeachable chastity and piety of the persona she promoted through her literary works.

This book presents for the very first time a body of Colonna's verse that reveals much about her poetic aims and outlook, while also casting new light on one of the most famous friendships of the age. Sonnets for Michelangelo, originally presented in manuscript form to her close friend Michelangelo Buonarroti as a personal gift, illustrates the striking beauty and originality of Colonna's mature lyric voice and distinguishes her as a poetic innovator who would be widely imitated by female writers in Italy and Europe in the sixteenth century. After three centuries of relative neglect, this new edition promises to restore Colonna to her rightful place at the forefront of female cultural production in the Renaissance.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226113913
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2005
  • Series: Other Voice in Early Modern Europe Series
  • Edition description: Bilingual edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Abigail Brundin is a lecturer in the Department of Italian at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St. Catharine's College.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

SONNETS FOR MICHELANGELO
A Bilingual Edition
By Vittoria Colonna
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
Copyright © 2005 The University of Chicago
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-226-11392-0



Chapter One
1. S1:1 (1538), fol. 1v

Poi che 'l mio casto amor gran tempo tenne L'alma di fama accesa, ed ella un angue In sen nudriò per cui dolente or langue Volta al Signor, onde 'l rimedio venne,

I santi chiodi omai sian le mie penne, E puro inchiostro il prezioso sangue, Vergata carta il sacro corpo exangue, Sì ch'io scriva ad altrui quel ch'ei sostenne.

Chiamar qui non convien Parnaso o Delo, Ch'ad altra aqua s'aspira, ad altro monte Si poggia, u' piede uman per sé non sale. Quel sol, che alluma gli elementi e 'l cielo, Prego ch'aprendo il suo lucido fonte Mi porga umor a la gran sete eguale.

2. S1:5 (1538), fol. 2r

Con la croce a gran passi ir vorrei dietro Al Signor per angusto erto sentiero, Sì ch'io in parte scorgessi il lume vero Ch'altro che 'l senso aperse al fedel Pietro;

E se tanta mercede or non impetro Non è ch'ei non si mostri almo e sincero, Ma comprender non so con l'occhio intero Ogni umana speranza esser di vetro.

Che s'io lo cor umil puro e mendico Appresentassi a la divina mensa, Ove con dolci e ordinate tempre

1. S1:1 (1538), fol. 1v

Since my chaste love for many years kept my soul aflame with the desire for fame, and it nourished a serpent in my breast so that now my heart languishes in pain turned towards God, who alone can help me,

let the holy nails from now on be my quills, and the precious blood my pure ink, my lined paper the sacred lifeless body, so that I may write down for others all that he suffered.

It is not right here to invoke Parnassus or Delos, for I aspire to cross other waters, to ascend other mountains that human feet cannot climb unaided.

I pray to the sun, which lights up the earth and the heavens, that letting forth his shining spring he pours down upon me a draught equal to my great thirst.

2. S1:5 (1538), fol. 2r

I long to stride behind my Lord bearing his cross along the steep and narrow path, and thus make out in part the one true light, which opened more than just the eyes of faithful Peter;

and if I am not now granted so great a reward it is not because God is ungenerous or insincere, but because I fail to understand completely that all human hope is as fragile as glass.

If I were to present my humble heart in purest supplication before the divine table, where with sweet and orderly constitution

L'Angel di Dio, nostro fidato amico, Se stesso in cibo per amor dispensa, Ne sarei forse un dì sazia per sempre.

3. S1: 54 (1539), fol. 2v

Quel pietoso miracol grande, ond'io Sento, la sua mercé, due parti estreme, Il divino et l'uman, sì giunte inseme Ch'è Dio vero uomo e l'uomo è vero Dio,

Erge tant'alto il mio basso desio E scalda in modo la mia fredda speme Che 'l cor libero e franco più non geme Sotto 'l carco terreno indegno e rio.

Con la piagata man dolce e soave Giogo m'ha posto al collo, e lieve peso Mi mostra or dentro al suo bel lume chiaro;

A l'alme umili con secreta chiave Apre 'l tesoro suo, del qual è avaro Ad ogni cor d'altere voglie acceso.

4. S1: 93 (1538), fol. 3r

Di vero lume abisso immenso e puro, Con l'alta tua pietà, le luci amiche Rivolgi a questi quasi vil formiche, Saggi del mondo, c'hanno il cor sì duro.

Rompi de l'ignoranza il grosso muro Ch'ancor li copre di quelle ombre antiche Del vecchio Adamo, fredde empie nemiche Al caldo raggio tuo chiaro e sicuro,

Tal che rendendo al Pastor santo onore, Vestiti sol di te con fede viva, Abbian la legge tua scritta nel core,

Sì che dei propri affetti ogni alma priva Voli con l'ale del divino amore A la celeste tua beata riva.

5. S1: 50 (1542), fol. 3v

Quando, vostra mercé, quasi presente Scorge la fede viva ad una ad una L'alme gratie divine, e poi le aduna Tutte in un punto il cor lieto e ardente,

the angel of God, our trusted friend, offers himself through his love to be our food, one day my appetite may perhaps be forever satiated.

3. S1: 54 (1539), fol. 2v

The wondrous and holy miracle by which, through his mercy, I perceive two opposed beings, one divine and one human, so fused into one that God becomes a true man and man a true God,

causes my lowly desire to soar so high and in the same way so inflames my chilly hope that my free and candid heart no longer trembles beneath the evil, worthless burdens of the world.

With his sweet, gentle, wounded hand he has placed a yoke around my neck, and in the beautiful clear light I see it is an easy weight to bear; to all humble souls with his secret key he opens up his treasure, jealously guarded from any heart inspired by proud ambition.

4. S1: 93 (1538), fol. 3r

From within a vast pure well of the true light, through your mercy, you turn your loving eyes upon these lowly, crawling ants, who are so full of worldly wisdom and hard of heart.

Break down the thick wall of ignorance which still casts over them Adam's ancient shadows, chilly and persistent enemies of the clarity and healing of your warm gaze,

so that, paying holy tribute to the Eternal Shepherd, and clothed in you alone with living faith, they may bear your law inscribed upon their hearts,

and every soul liberated from selfish desires may fly upon wings of holy love up to your blessed celestial shore.

5. S1: 50 (1542), fol. 3v

When, through your mercy, our living faith makes out as if close at hand, one by one, the divine life-giving graces, and then the ardent and joyful heart assembles them together in one place,

Tirar da tanto amor l'alma si sente, Che quanto giace qui sotto la luna, La morte, il mondo, e buona e rea fortuna, Riman poi sotto l'amorosa mente.

E mentre servon l'ali al gran pensero Or sul mare, or sul fiume, or sovra 'l monte, Veggio il sol di là su splender fra noi,

E quando Dio quando uom far qua giù conte L'immortal glorie, e coi bei raggi suoi Disparir l'ombre e dimostrarsi il vero.

6. S1: 83 (1539), fol. 4r

Se quanto è inferma e da sé vil con sano Occhio mirasse l'uom nostra natura, Ch'al crescer e scemar de la misura Prescritta al corpo altri s'adopra invano,

De le bisogne sue l'ingegno umano Al Padre eterno con la mente pura, Che veste i gigli et degli augelli ha cura, Porrebbe lieto ogni pensiero in mano.

Ché se tutto il ben vero ha in se raccolto Lui brami e ami, e prenda solo a sdegno Volger le luci altrove un gentil core;

Col lato aperto su dal santo legno Ne chiama sempre, pieno il petto e 'l volto D'infinita pieta, d'immenso amore.

7. S1:7 (1538), fol. 4v

Da Dio mandata, angelica mia scorta, Volgi per dritto calle al ciel la mente, E quando l'alma al suo cader consente Riprendi 'l freno e 'l pie' lasso conforta,

Sì che a le nozze eterne non sia morta Ogni mia luce, ma con lampa ardente, Chiamata dal Signor, saggia, prudente, Aperta al giunger mio trovi la porta.

E perché 'l cor l'aspetti ad'or ad'ora Per girli incontro lietamente armato Di puro acceso amor, di viva fede, the soul feels itself borne up by so much love that all things that dwell here beneath the moon, death, the world, and fortune both good and evil, are lost from view to the enlightened mind.

And as we take flight on the wings of great ideals over the oceans, the rivers, and the mountains, I see the celestial sun shine here around us, while as God or man he heaps his eternal glory upon us, and his divine rays of light banish the shadows and reveal the truth.

6. S1: 83 (1539), fol. 4r

If man were to look with a clear vision upon the sickly and vile state of human nature, instead of striving, as some do in vain, against the waxing and waning of our prescribed time on earth,

the human spirit would, with a pure intention, gratefully surrender every thought of its own gain to our eternal Father, who alone clothes the lilies and feeds the birds.

If he has gathered within himself all truth and virtue, then a gentle heart must love him and burn for him alone, and disdain to direct its gaze elsewhere;

wounded in one side, he calls eternally down from the holy cross, his breast and his face charged with infinite pity and unending love.

7. S1:7 (1538), fol. 4v

My angelic escort, sent to me by God, guide my mind along the straight path to heaven, and whenever my spirit allows itself to stumble then restrain me and restore my weary feet,

so that at the eternal marriage my light is not extinguished, but with a brightly burning lamp, summoned by my Lord, wise and prudent, I find the door open, awaiting my arrival.

And so that my heart may expect him at every hour and move to meet him joyfully, armed with pure burning love and with living faith,

Poich'hai di me la cura, ed ei ti crede, Mostrami i segni, quasi interna aurora, Nel venir del mio sol chiaro et beato.

8. S2: 32 (1840), fol. 5r

Anime elette, in cui da l'ampie e chiare Cristalline del cielo onde secrete Ristagna ogni or per farvi sempre liete De la bontà di Dio più largo mare,

Breve stilla di quelle in queste amare Nostre del mondo estinguer può la sete Ai cori ingordi, e le lor voglie quete Render che de' lor danni son sì avare.

Or che del lato aperto le sante acque Non sempre tanto lavan quanto ponno Le macchie nostre, insin nel vivo impresse,

Pregate lui che con le voci stesse Con le quai chiamar l'uom al ciel li piacque, Lo svegli omai dal grave interno sonno.

9. S2: 22 (1539), fol. 5v

Rinasca in te il mio cor quest'almo giorno Che nacque a noi colei di cui nascesti, L'animo excelso tuo l'ale ne presti Per gir volando al vero alto soggiorno.

Di mille rai da pria consperso intorno Era 'l suo mortal velo, e mille desti Sempre al ben far pensieri alti ed onesti, Poi dentro il fer di maggior lume adorno.

So ch'ella prega te per noi, ma, o pio Signor, prega tu lei che preghi in modo Ch'io senta oprar in me sua vital forza,

Ond'io sciogliendo anzi spezzando 'l nodo Che qui mi lega, questa umana scorza Serva a lo spirto, e sol lo spirto a Dio.

10. S1: 55 (1539), fol. 6r

Con che saggio consiglio e sottil cura Dee l'uom d'intorno, dentro e lungi e presso Guardar, ornar e pulir l'alma spesso Con severo occhio e con giusta misura,

since you are sent to guide me, and he trusts you, show me the signs, like an internal dawn, of the coming of my bright and blessed sun.

8. S2: 32 (1840), fol. 5r

Elected souls, in whom the broad, clear, secret, crystal waves of heaven fill ever deeper a wide ocean of God's bounty to guarantee you eternal joy,

one meager drop from those waters mixed into these bitter worldly ones of ours can vanquish the thirst in all eager hearts 31 and assuage our desires, which so avidly seek their own damnation.

The holy water flowing from his open wound does not always entirely wash away our sins, which are imprinted on our living flesh,

so pray to him that with those very voices with which it pleased him to call men to heaven, he awakens us now from this deep spiritual sleep.

9. S2: 22 (1539), fol. 5v

Let my heart be reborn in you on this glorious day on which she who bore you was herself born, and may your divine being lend my heart wings to fly up to its true lofty resting place.

Her mortal body was from the beginning surrounded by a thousand rays of light, and you gave her a thousand noble and honest inspirations to do good, which made that body shine with yet a greater light within.

I know that she prays to you on our behalf, but, Holy Father, pray to her that through her prayers her vital energy may fill my being,

so that I may untie or even break apart the knots that bind me to this place, and this mortal shell will serve my spirit alone, and my spirit only God.

10. S1: 55 (1539), fol. 6r

With wise probity and minute care man must, within and without, from far and near, observe, enrich, and purge his soul often with a stern eye and with just moderation,

Sapendo che di Dio per la man pura Del santo amor v'è sempre il volto impresso Sì, che convien che 'n noi veggia se stesso, Nè macchie il fallo uman la sua figura.

Lontan da sé l'imagin falsa sgombri E s'onori altamente de la vera Colui che del gran padre è figlio umile,

E del divino amor tanto s'ingombri Che si purghi e rinovi, onde l'altera Luce non scopra in lui più cosa vile.

11. S1: 18 (1539), fol. 6v

Cibo, del cui meraviglioso effetto L'alma con l'occhio interno dentro vede L'alta cagion divina e acquista fede Che sei Dio vero e suo verace obietto:

Nudrita del tuo ardor, con umil petto Quasi del ciel sicura indegna erede, Vorrei là su far gloriose prede Per forza d'un sol puro acceso affetto.

Ch'a te furar si possa il tuo bel regno Con violenta man ne mostri, e poi Ne dai te stesso in grazioso pegno;

Tutto sol per far noi divenir tuoi Facesti, e pur da noi s'usa ogni ingegno Ed ogni poder nostro incontro a noi.

12. S1:8 (1539), fol. 7r

Tempo è pur ch'io, con la precinta vesta, Con l'orecchie e con gli occhi avidi intenti E con le faci in man vive e ardenti, Aspetti il caro sposo ardita e presta

Per onorarlo riverente, onesta, Avendo al cor gli altri desiri spenti, E brami l'amor suo, l'ira paventi, Sì ch'ei mi trovi a la vigilia desta.

Non per li ricchi suoi doni infiniti Ne men per le soavi alte parole, Onde vita immortal lieto m'offerse,

knowing that by the pure hand of divine love the face of God is eternally marked so clearly upon him, that God can see himself reflected in us, and his image must not be defiled by our human sin.

He who is a humble son to the great father, let him push false icons far from himself and venerate only true ones,

so that he is so overcome by divine love that he is purged and renewed, and the holy light can reveal no more vile stains upon him.

11. S1: 18 (1539), fol. 6v

Holy sustenance, of whose marvellous effects the soul with its inner eye perceives the lofty divine cause and renews its faith that you are the true God and our soul's one object:

nurtured by your fire, clothed with humility, I am almost assured, although unworthy of heaven's grace,39 and long to make great conquests in the sky armed only with a pure and ardent love.

You show us that violent hands can assault your holy kingdom, yet then in gracious pledge you offer yourself;

all this you did so that we may become yours, and still we employ all our cunning and all our strength against ourselves.

12. S1:8 (1539), fol. 7r

The time has come when I too, with my robe belted tightly, with my eyes and ears open and alert, my torch grasped in my hands burning with a bright flame, must await my beloved husband, joyful and ready

to honor him reverently, chastely, having quashed all other desires within my heart, and I must burn for his love, fear his anger, and hope that he may find me prepared for the holy vigil.

Not for the sake of his infinite abundant gifts, nor for his wise and divine words, with which joyfully he offered me eternal life,

Ma perché la man santa non m'additi, "Ecco la cieca, a cui non si scoverse Con tanti chiari raggi il suo bel sole."

13. S1: 92 (1539), fol. 7v

Del mondo e del nimico folle e vano Far il contrasto, e de l'iniquia morte, Signor, aprendo le tartaree porte Sol con la nuda tua piegata mano;

Del crudele aversario il fero insano Furor legar, e le tue luci scorte Esser ai santi padri a l'alta corte, U' lor condusse il valor piu che umano;

Grand'opra fu di re saggio e prudente. Ma legar i contrari miei pensieri, Aprir per forza l'indurato petto,

Far ch'in me sian l'ardenti voglie spente Onde vadano al ciel i desir veri, Sol de la tua bontà fie vero effetto.

14. S1: 57 (1542), fol. 8r

S'io, mossa con Zacheo da intenso affetto Per mirar quel gran sol che 'n ciel fa giorno, M'alzassi tanto che le turbe intorno Non fesser ombra al mio basso intelletto,

Sperar potrei che questo indegno petto Gli fosse albergo, e 'n quel dolce soggiorno M'aprisse raggio il suo bel lume adorno Ch'io provassi altro che mondan diletto;

Tal che lieta ed umil nel gran convito Gli apparecchiassi una candida fede Per mensa e poi per cibo l'alma e 'l core,

Si ch'ei dicesse, "Omai da te sbandito Sia il vizio, che con larga ampia mercede Oggi t'ha fatto salva il mio valore."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SONNETS FOR MICHELANGELO by Vittoria Colonna Copyright © 2005 by The University of Chicago. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments....................vii
Note on the Translation....................viii
Series Editors' Introduction....................xi
Volume Editor's Introduction....................1
Volume Editor's Bibliography....................45
Colonna's Sonnets for Michelangelo with English translations on facing pages....................56
Notes....................141
Series Editors' Bibliography....................173
Index of First Lines....................189
General Index....................193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)