A Year of Mourning: Poems 271-322 of Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta

A Year of Mourning: Poems 271-322 of Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta


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A Year of Mourning: Poems 271-322 of Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta by Francesco Petrarca, Lee Harlin Bahan

Poetry. Translated by Lee Harlin Bahan. Lee Harlin Bahan delves into the crowded field of Petrarch translations and delivers a classical offering with a postmodern- cool facelift. A YEAR OF MOURNING is daring, quirky, and playful, but with traditional trimmings. The expected classical and Biblical references abound, but also vivid allusions to pop culture and the contemporary social scene, including Madonna, Robert Frost, rock 'n' roll, even the Walnettos caramel- walnut candy. This is the Petrarch you know alongside the Petrarch you've never experienced before. This is a Petrarch translation not to be missed.

"Lee Bahan has undertaken a seemingly Herculean task, to translate a group of Petrarch's sonnets while eliminating almost everything we associate with the word 'Petrarchan'; it's as if her template is a cross between Shakespeare's 'My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun' sonnet, and the lyrics of a particularly annoyed and upset country singer. This is emphatically not our grandmother's Petrarch, but it is by turns startling, engaging, surprising, beguiling and occasionally annoying...paradoxically enough, not unlike the originals. If this is old wine, it's being served from a winningly flamboyant new bottle."—Dick Davis

"What if that lovelorn Italian sonneteer Francesco Petrarca was a wisecracking guy named Frank Petrarch from Indiana who fell in love with his neighbor's wife, Laura, and then turned to poetry in sorrow when she died young of an infectious disease? The result might be something like Lee Harlin Bahan's translations and transformations in this sonnet sequence. Here, the corset tightened until the bones crack has been loosened to allow for a natural diction, syntax, and idiom that allows that old ghost, Petrarch, to speak to us as if he were alive today. The result is readable, rewarding, and exciting. This is one that belongs on your nightstand."—Tony Barnstone

"Lee Harlin Bahan's A YEAR OF MOURNING is a tour de force, translating Petrarch into an idiom and poetics right at home in the twenty-first century. 'Translate' is not quite the right word as Bahan updates and postmodernizes Petrarch in fascinating and entertaining fashion, while remaining on solid scholarly ground. References to Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Monroe, and The Temptations, among others, spark the fancy, while allusions to the Bible, Chrétien de Troyes, and classic Greek mythology soothe the academic mind. A YEAR OF MOURNING is both a satisfying read and a monumental achievement."—Vince Gotera

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781927409954
Publisher: Able Muse Press
Publication date: 10/09/2017
Pages: 82
Sales rank: 658,227
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Lee Harlin Bahan earned her MFA at Indiana University- Bloomington. Her thesis, Migration Solo, won the first Indiana Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her second chapbook is Notes to Sing. Bahan's own poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and The North American Review, and her translations have appeared in Natural Bridge, Southern Humanities Review, and Flying Island. After receiving a local grant to study Italian, Lee enjoyed a month-long residency at Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, Mt. St. Francis, IN, pursuing her goal of translating Petrarch's sonnets. Bahan lives with her husband Pat in a hundred-year-old farmhouse outside Medora, IN. A YEAR OF MOURNING was a special honoree for the 2016 Able Muse Book Award.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

271: Winded 3

272: Bad trip 4

273: Madeleine, with a nod to Mortimer 5

274: Jeremiah 17:9 6

275: Shades of Orpheus, with a nod to Barnes 7

276: Buboes 8

277: 2 Corinthians 4:8–9, KJV 9

278: Stop the tree, I want to get off 10

279: Madonna 11

280: Van Heusen and Cahn 12

281: Eastwood 13

282: Laredo 14

283: Beast-whisperer 15

284: Harrowing 16

285: No-win 17

286: Miracles and Temptations 18

287: Give my regards to 19

288: Bad breath 20

289: Castiglione 21

290: Carrot 22

291: Zappa 23

292: Harrison 24

293: Vale of 25

294: Matthew 5:15, among others, KJV 26

295: For Stephen McCauley 27

296: Chrétien de Troyes 28

297: Linnaeus, with thanks to Tedd 29

298: Romans 6:23, with a rhyme from Larkin 30

299: Villon 31

300: McLean 32

301: Longfellow 33

302: John 9:4 34

303: Brothers Gibb via Hemingway 35

304: The one Paul Williams wrote for Karen and Richard 36

305: Numerous thanks to Marilyn Hacker 37

306: Habakkuk 3:19, for Billy Spray 38

307: Or would you rather swing a birch? 39

308: Seger 40

309: Pharos 41

310: Liquefaction, and other allusions 42

311: Stones 43

312: When deep purple fails 44

313: Cash 45

314: Body of work 46

315: Checkered past 47

316: We’re all the same height . . . in coffins 48

317: Walnetto, with a rhyme from Auslander 49

318: Genesis 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:11 50

319: Be careful what you wish for 51

320: All fall down, for Phil Andrews 52

321: Laura in disguise at sunset 53

322: Auld lang syne—reply to the very bad poem of a long-dead, very good friend 54

Acknowledgments 57

Works Consulted 59

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