The Complete Poetry of Giacomo da Lentini

The Complete Poetry of Giacomo da Lentini

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This volume presents the first translation in English of the complete poetry of Giacomo da Lentini, the first major lyric poet of the Italian vernacular. He was the leading exponent of the Sicilian School (c.1220-1270) as well as the inventor of the sonnet. Featuring illustrations and new English translations of some forty lyrics, Richard Lansing revives the work of a pioneer of Italian literature, a poet who helped pave the way for later writers such as Dante and Petrarch.

Giacomo da Lentini is hailed as the earliest poet to import the Occitan tradition of love poetry into the Italian vernacular. This edition of Giacomo fills a gap in the canon of translations of Italian literature in English and serves as a vital reference source for students as well as scholars and teachers interested in the literature of the romance languages.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 330g
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • 148752286X
  • 9781487522865
  • 1,200,978

Table of contents





Canzoni and Discordo

1. Madonna, dir vo voglio (My lady, I wish to tell you)

2. Meravigliosa-mente (Extraordinarily)

3. Guiderdone aspetto avere (I hope for recompense)

4. Amor non vole ch'io clami (Love will not let me seek)

5. Dal core mi vene (From my heart comes)

6. La 'namoranza dis osa (The love full of desire)

7. Ben m' venuto prima cordoglienza (Indeed I felt deep grief at once, my fair)

8. Donna, eo languisco (My Love, I suffer and don't know what hope)

9. Troppo son dimorato (Too long have I resided)

10. Non so se 'n gioia mi sia (I do not know if thoughts of love)

11. Uno dis o d'amore sovente (So frequently an amorous desire)

12. Amando lungiamente (In loving for so long)

13. Madonna mia, a voi mando (My lady fair, I send to you)

14. S'io doglio no meraviglia (It's no surprise I grieve)

15. Amore, paura m'incalcia (O Love, fear presses me)

16. Poi no mi val merz n ben servire (Since neither mercy nor performing deeds)

17. Dolce coninzamento (I sing a sweet preamble)

Tenzone with the Abbot of Tivoli

18a. Ai deo d'amore (O god of Love, I pray you see)

18b. Feruto sono isvar atamente (I have been wounded differently)

18c. Qual om riprende altrui (One who rebukes another frequently)

18d. Cotale gioco rnai non fue veduto (A game like this has not been seen)

18e. Con vostro onore facciovi uno 'nvito (I honor you and send you this appeal)

Tenzone with Jacopo Mostacci and Pier della Vigna

19a. Solicitando un poco meo savere (To stimulate my intellect)

19b. Per ch'Amore non si p vedere (Because Love is not visible)

19c. Amore uno disio che ven da core (Love's a desire that issues from the heart)


20. Lo giglio quand' colto tost' passo (The lily fades as soon as it is picked)

21. S come il sol che manda la sua spera (Just like the sun that sends its rays)

22. Or come pote s gran donna entrare (How can so great a lady pass)

23. Molti amadori la lor malatia (Many lovers bear their malady)

24. Donna, vostri sembianti mi mostraro (My lady, your expressions raised in me)

25. Ogn'omo ch'ama de' amar so 'nore (A lover must protect his name)

26. A l'aire claro vista ploggia dare (On clear days I have seen it rain)

27. Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio (I've set my heart on serving God)

28. Lo viso mi fa andare alegramente (Her face creates my happiness)

29. Eo viso e son diviso da lo viso (I see, but only from afar, her face)

30. S alta amanza pres'a lo me' core (A love so noble seized my heart)

31. Per sofrenza si vince gran vetoria (Through patience victories are won)

32. Certo me par che far dea bon signore (It seems quite clear a noble lord should base)

33. S como 'l parpaglion ch'a tal natura (Just as the butterfly in nature's grasp)

34. Chi non avesse mai veduto foco (If one had never seen a flame of fire)

35. Diamante, n smiraldo, n zafino (No diamond, sapphire, emerald)

36. Madonna 'n se vertute con valore (The virtue of my lady is)

37. Angelica figura e comprobata (Angelic figure manifest)

38. Quand'om un bon amico leiale (When someone has a good and loyal friend)

Lyrics of dubious attribution

D.1. Membrando l'amoroso dipartire (Remembering my loving fond farewell)

D.2. Lo badalisco a lo specchio lucente (Before a shiny mirror the basilisk)

D.3. Guardando basalisco velenoso (Looking at the deadly basilisk)



Index of First Lines
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About Giacomo da Lentini

Giacomo da Lentini was an Italian poet of the 13th century and a member of the Sicilian School during the reign of Frederick II. The topics of his poetry primarily concerned courtly and chivalrous love.
Akash Kumar is visiting assistant professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Richard Lansing is a Professor Emeritus of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature at Brandeis University.
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