poetPoetry in the Renaissance

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By Virgina Cox
Johns Hopkins University Press, 455 pages, $29.95

When students think of Italian Renaissance poetry they generally think of the men who wrote some famous love poetry that is still read today. What is little known is that women also wrote poetry during this period of time, some of it moving, full of feeling, and ironic. In this collection, we get to read the poetry of Italian women during the Renaissance; a voice that is often not heard. This will be a book that will improve collections in libraries. Students and teachers will want to read this work for their English classes. These poems cover a wide range of topics, and a wide range of time. We get to read poems that have survived for a long time, from a sub-set of society that is often ignored in cultural studies.

While most of the poems are generally short, along with some sonnets, there are some longer pieces. Each piece is divided into the original Italian, followed by the English translation, and then a short commentary. The best part is reading the works themselves. Virginia Cox has done a good job bringing together these poems, and bringing them to life again.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter

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