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Sonnets of Love and Death [Paperback]

Jean De Sponde , David R. Slavitt

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2001 European Poetry Classics
This bilingual edition introduces readers to the sixteenth century poet Jean de Sponde, considered one of the most important poets of the Renaissance period and a precursor to Donne, in his poetry Sponde reflects the tensions--both stylistic and philosophical-of his time. This collection of sonnets, abounding in metaphor, paradox, antithesis, and hyperbole, is a restless personal exploration of the body and the spirit, of the concrete and the abstract, of passion and anguish.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A true Renaissance man, Basque-born Jean de Sponde (1557-1595) was a jurist, alchemist and poet, among other vocations and avocations. Prolific poet, translator and Bennington College faculty member David R. Slavitt has taken Sponde's old French Sonnets of Love & Death and put them in modern English, while attempting to preserve Ssponde's rhyme scheme and immediacy. The results are mixed, but this bilingual edition allows easy comparisons.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Sonnets of Love and Death introduces the difficult yet dazzling world of a neglected poet who has earned renewed recognition during the twentieth century. Jean de Sponde has finally taken his proper place in the pantheon of French poets and is now considered one of the most important short form poets who wrote between the Renaissance and Classicism. Poised between two eras, de Sponde's writing reflects all the tensions he felt at that time. In a collection of sonnets loaded with multiple metaphors, paradoxes, antitheses, and hyperbole, he carries out a restless exploration of the body and the spirit, passion and anguish, and the concrete and the abstract. David Slavitt's finely crafted translation respects the challenging nature of de Sponde's four-hundred-year-old diction and themes. While remaining faithful to the original content and sonnet form, he deftly employs contemporary English phrases and poetics that appeal to the modern eye and ear.

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