In Petrarch’s hands, lyric verse was transformed from an expression of courtly devotion into a way of conversing with one’s own heart and mind. David Slavitt renders the sonnets in Il Canzoniere, along with the shorter madrigals and ballate, in a sparkling and engaging idiom and in rhythm and rhyme that do justice to Petrarch’s achievement.
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Not for nothing is William Shakespeare considered possibly the most famous writer in history; his works have had a lasting effect on culture, vocabularies, and art. His plays contain some of our most well-known lines (how often have you heard the phrase 'To be or not to be'?), yet whilst his poems may often feel less familiar than his plays they have also seeped into our cultural history (who has not heard of ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'?). In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Post introduces all of Shakespeare's poetry: the Sonnets; the two great narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; A Lover's Complaint; and The Phoenix and Turtle. Describing Shakespeare's double identity as both poet and playwright, in conjunction with several of his contemporaries, Post evaluates the reciprocal advantages as well as the different strategies and strains that came with writing for the stage and the page. Tackling the debates surrounding the disputed authorship of Shakespeare's poems, he also considers the printing history of Shakespeare's canon, and the genres favoured by the bard. Exploring their reception, both with contemporary audiences and through the ages until today, Post explores the core themes of love and lust, and analyzes how the sonnets compare with other great love poetry of the English Renaissance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This masterly edition contains all of Milton's English poems, with the exception of Paradise Lost, together with translations and texts of all his Latin, Italian and Greek poems. First published in 1968 - and substantially updated in 1996 - John Carey's edition has, with Alastair Fowler's Paradise Lost, established itself as the pre-eminent edition of Milton's poetry, both for the student and the general reader. Hailed as 'a very Bible of a Milton', the extensive notes and headnotes serve to illuminate the wealth of Milton's allusions and to synthesize the judgements and disagreements of a bewildering array of modern critics. Each headnote sets out details of composition and context which will deepen any reader's appreciation of the poetry, while also providing a concise overview of the critical and scholarly debates that continue to flame around the work of one of the greatest poets in the English language. Steeped in learning though it undoubtedly is, it is also an unfailing light to those who wish to plot their own path through the dazzling riches of Milton's imagination.
While The Faerie Queene is his masterpiece, Edmund Spenser showed his supreme versatility and skill as eulogist, satirist, pastoral poet, and prophet in his shorter poetry. This new edition demonstrates the point. Included in this volume are The Shepheardes Calender, twelve poems that mark a turning point in literary history, as the anonymous author confidently asserts his faith in the native vigor of the English language; the Amoretti and Hymnes, which reveal an acute sense of how erotic and even religious love are shot through with vanity and narcissism; Mother Hubberds Tale, an Elizabethan Animal Farm; and the Epithalamion, a rare celebration of consummated desire that is offset by far darker echoes. To assist readers with Spenser's many allusions to biblical, classical, and contemporary literature, Richard A. McCabe provides an insightful Introduction and detailed notes. "Spenser is most commonly celebrated as the author of The Faerie Queene, yet had he written nothing other than the works collected in the present volume he would still rank amongst the foremost of English poets."--Richard A. McCabe, from the Introduction
An important and innovative edition of Milton's shorter verse & the first volume to present the poems with the original spelling and pronunciations intact, offering readers the opportunity to experience the vitality of the poems as they were experienced by Milton's contemporaries: Includes Milton's original Latin poems, with a new English translation on facing pages for cross-comparison Serves as a companion to Lewalski's Paradise Lost and Loewenstein's prose selections of Milton Features both collected and uncollected poetry in English, Latin, and Greek, the latter two with translations Retains original spelling and punctuation of Milton's 1645 Poems and his 1671 Paradise Regained and Sampson Agonistes Offers readers comprehensive footnotes, marginal glosses, chronology, bibliography, and longer discussions in introductions to sections
Edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon Derived from the Modern Library’s esteemed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this new volume, extensively revised and updated by its editors, contains Milton’s two late masterpieces, the brief epic Paradise Regained and the tragic drama Samson Agonistes. Age after age, these works have inspired new controversy and exciting interpretive debates. With expert commentary to guide the reader through historical contexts and verbal details, as well as the larger political and philosophical implications, the concerns of these canonical pieces live once again for today’s audiences. The volume also contains Milton’s complete shorter poems, which include such major achievements as “Lycidas,” “A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634,” “L’Allegro,” and “Il Penseroso,” and the author’s twenty-four influential sonnets. Thoughtfully edited and carefully designed, this is an essential publication of Milton’s classic poetry. Praise for The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton “For generations of readers Milton has been the measure of both eloquence and nobility of mind. For the next generation, this new Modern Library volume will be the standard. It brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.”—Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States “A superb edition of the great poet, with modernized spelling, lucid introductions to each work, illuminating footnotes, and fresh prose translations in Latin, Greek, and Italian. This will surely be the edition of choice for teachers, students, and general readers too.”—Leo Damrosch, Harvard University
Milton's shorter poetry and prose can be challenging to teach, but they reward instructors and students many times over: they introduce in compact, accessible form the themes and difficult syntax of Paradise Lost, expand and comment on the epic and on one another, and provide students ideal training in close reading. The essays in this volume constitute a road map for exploring the most frequently taught of Milton's shorter works--"Lycidas," the Nativity Ode, Comus, Samson Agonistes, Areopagitica, and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce--as well as the sonnets, Paradise Regained, The Reason of Church Government, and The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, among others. The contributors demonstrate ways of incorporating Milton's shorter works into a range of classrooms, from survey courses to Milton seminars; list specific tools to make the works' relevance and aesthetic pleasures available to a wide variety of student populations; and offer a wealth of techniques for helping students navigate Milton's demanding style and complicated historical context. Like all volumes in the Approaches series, this collection includes a convenient survey of original and supplementary materials and a comprehensive array of classroom tactics. Three sections of essays provide general approaches to the poetry and prose, through biography, genre, literary and political history, and other methodologies. The fourth section addresses the teaching of individual poems, and the final section articulates ways into specific prose works.
Spenser's celebrated manifesto poem, The Shepherds' Calendar (1579), together with its original prefatory material and the contemporary glosses by E.K., appears here for the first time in a modernised form, but with the conscious archaisms and dialectal forms retained so that it can now, for the first time since it was published, be read as the linguistic palimpsest Spenser intended it to be.