Lyric Poetry

Lyric Poetry


Book - 2005
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Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), scholar and critic, was one of the most admired Latinists of his day. After some years at the court of Urbino, where he exchanged Platonic love letters with Lucrezia Borgia, he moved to Rome and served as secretary to Leo X (1513-1520). Later he retired to Padua and a life of letters. He was made a cardinal in 1539. The poems in this volume come from all periods of his life and reflect both his erudition and his wide-ranging friendships. This verse edition is the first time they have been translated into English.

This volume also includes the prose dialogue Etna , an account of Bembo's ascent of Mt. Etna in Sicily during his student days, translated by Betty Radice.

Uniform Title: Poems. English & Latin
Alternative Title: Etna.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2005.
ISBN: 9780674017122
Branch Call Number: 871.04
Characteristics: xxi, 278 p. ; 21 cm.


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Jul 28, 2017

Pietro Bembo was a man who could only have lived during the Italian Renaissance - after being trained as a Venetian diplomat, he became an accomplished humanist who helped restore the popularity of the works of Petrarch and Boccaccio, then the lover of Lucrezia Borgia, and finally a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. He embodies those traits which seem so puzzling or scandalous to so many in other times and places - particularly the combination of a genuine concern for virtue and a deep religiosity with casual hedonism. His poetry - presented here as a translation of his own compilation, the Carminum libellus, along with works he omitted and works attributed to him and included in later editions - reflects this curious mixture, shifting between paganized hymns, comic insults, and lurid eroticism. Also included in this volume is Bembo's dialogue Etna, a reconstruction of a conversation with his father retelling the author's exploration of the famous Sicilian volcano, in which he seamlessly combines classicism and scientific inquiry.


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