Selected Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition (English and Portuguese Edition)

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9780226092669: Selected Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition (English and Portuguese Edition)

The most important writer in Portuguese history and one of the preeminent European poets of the early modern era, Luís de Camões (1524–80) has been ranked as a sonneteer on par with Petrarch, Dante, and Shakespeare. Championed by such influential English poets as William Blake and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and admired in America by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Herman Melville, Camões was renowned for his intensely personal sonnets and equally intense adventurous life. He was banished for dueling and brawling at court, lost an eye fighting the Moors in North Africa, was shipwrecked off the coast of India, jailed in Goa, and exiled in Mozambique. Throughout these personal trials, he advanced poetry beyond the Petrarchin model of love won and lost to write of personal despair, history, politics, war, religion, and the natural beauty of Portugal.

The first significant English translation of Camões's sonnets in more than one hundred years, Selected Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition collects seventy of Camões's best—all musically rendered into contemporary, yet metrical and rhymed, English-language poetry by William Baer, with the original Portuguese on facing pages—and reintroduces the genius of a poet whom Cervantes called "the incomparable treasure of Lusus." A comprehensive selection of sonnets that demonstrates the full range of Camões's interests and invention, Selected Sonnets will prove indespensible for both students and teachers in comparative and Renaissance literature, Portuguese and Spanish history, and the art of literary translation.

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About the Author:

William Baer is professor of English at the University of Evansville; founder and editor ofthe Formalist, a magazine devoted to poetry and literary translations; and the author of two books of poems, including The Unfortunates, winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize.

From Booklist:

The Shakespeare, the Petrarch, of his nation, Camoes (1524-80) is Portugal's great sonneteer. He published only one sonnet in his lifetime, and many of doubtful authorship crept into the canon during their first century of great popularity. Baer presents 70 in Portuguese and his own English versions, formally faithful to the originals except that in the octaves Baer uses four (abba, cddc) rather than Camoes' two (abba, abba) rhymes. A sketch of Camoes' amazingly adventurous and colorful life, his works, and his reputation precedes the poems. Camoes fell in love above his station and was exiled because of it, eventually to Portugal's Asian colonies. He experienced warfare, shipwreck, jail, stranding in Africa, and, while he was gone, the death of his beloved. The sonnets, primarily inspired, as convention dictated, by the beloved, reflect his life and the reflections on it that his faith and literary education allowed. If the translations are rather less beautiful than one would want, the poems' great biographical interest makes them as fascinating, though differently so, as Shakespeare's. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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