The Complete Poetry of Michelangelo

Edited by Sidney Alexander

Named Outstanding Translation of the Year for 1991 by the American Literary Translators Association

“It is, far and away, the best English translation of Michelangelo’s poetry now available. The tortured love poetry, the little–known comic, grotesque poems, and the famous, deeply penitential religious poems are all vividly and poetically rendered in this splendid edition, which will enable the reader to see clearly why Michelangelo was a major poet.”

Virginia Quarterly Review

“This evocative and faithful translation of the total body of Michaelangelo’s poetry deepens our understanding of this singular Renaissance giant, his attitudes, and his work. This volume of poetry forms the capstone of Alexander’s celebrated trilogy on the life and times of Michaelangelo Buonarroti.”

Translation Review

Although Michelangelo’s work has been applauded from the earliest years of his long and productive career, he has been better known for his sculpture, painting, drawing, and architecture than for his poetry. Yet there is a close relationship between his visual art and his poetry that, while recognized by scholars and aficionados, has not been generally appreciated. Michelangelo, who quarried the marble for his powerful sculptures, also expressed himself in poetry—outspoken declarations of love, of self–loathing, of spiritual ecstacy, and of physical restraint. Sidney Alexander’s evocative and faithful translation of the total body of Michelangelo’s poetry, presented here, deepens our understanding of the Renaissance giant and his work.

As the author of three books of poetry, Sidney Alexander has especially pertinent qualifications for rendering poetic English versions of Michelangelo’s verse. A widely recognized scholar in the field of Italian Renaissance studies, Alexander translated Guicciardini’s History of Italy, which was awarded the prestigious PEN Award and is the classic work in the field. His biography of Chagall has been translated into several languages. A long–time resident of Florence and frequent lecturer at Stanford and Syracuse universities’ programs in Italy, Alexander has also written novels, poetry, plays, and criticism.

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