Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies Giveaway
Cultivate your mind: one of my favorite lessons I learned while living in Paris. There are so many ways to do this but in our modern society of reality television and lowbrow entertainment, we have to make an extra effort to not let our intellectual and artistic passions go by the wayside. Reading poetry, especially if it's not something you have an appreciation for, can help break the cycle, which is why I'm so excited about this week's featured book, Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies .
Louise Labé was the first recognized female French poet from the Renaissance period. The mere fact that she was a woman poet was very unusual for the time, but that she also wrote about romance, passion and desire was even more unique. New York Review Books, who has been reissuing classic books since 1999, has sent me Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies and is kindly offering to giveaway a copy of this magnificent book of poetry to one lucky reader of The Daily Connoisseur.
In this book, with the French version on the left and the English translation on the right, Louise Labé's poems contain an agony, an ecstasy and a depth that any poetry lover will delight in.
Here is a sample of her work, Sonnet 11:
I live, I die: I flare up & I drown.
The colder I feel the hotter I burn:
Life is too hard & too soft in turn.
To every joy sorrow circles round:
All of a sudden I laugh & I weep,
Taking pleasure in each twinge of pain:
The moment I flower, I fade away:
The treasure I lose, a treasure I keep.
Inconstant Love is my most constant guide:
Whenever the pain grows beyond belief,
to my surprise, I feel nothing inside.
Then, convinced my bliss cannot be denied
And I'm about to climb joy's highest peak,
He reminds me of all my former grief.
Translated by Richard Sieburth
Here is the description of the book from New York Review Books:
Louise Labé, one of the most original poets of the French Renaissance, published her complete Works around the age of thirty and then disappeared from history. Rediscovered in the nineteenth century, her incandescent love sonnets were later translated into German by Rilke and appear here in a revelatory new English version by the award-winning translator Richard Sieburth.
Here are some reviews of Labé's work:
“The deeply learned Louise Labé knew well the love poetry of Sappho, Propertius, Ovid, and Petrarch, but she herself joined the ranks of these great Western tossers and turners by breaking with convention. Across five centuries, thanks to Richard Sieburth’s beautiful translations, her urgent voice, her embodied images, and her rapid, somehow breathless, lines come to us as if they were spoken yesterday.” --Susan Stewart
“Richard Sieburth has captured the vigor, intensity, and vernacular tang of Louise Labé’s startling poems. He has turned the ‘rhymed cordage as twined and tensile as rope’ of the fabled Belle Cordière, daughter of a ropemaker, into spirited poems in English.” --Rosanna Warren
"[Labé] laments for one alone, but the whole of nature unites with them: it is the lament for one who is eternal." — Rainer Maria Rilke
“A great poet, perhaps one of the greatest of all time.” —The Polar Bear, a character in Samuel Beckett’s Dream of Fair to middling Women
New York Review books are kindly offering to give away one copy of Louise Labé Love Sonnets & Elegies to a reader of The Daily Connoisseur. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by publisher). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced one week from today on the widget.
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This week I would love to know... Are you familiar with Louise Labé's work? Who is your favorite poet of all time? How have you been cultivating your mind lately?
See you on Sunday for a special #TenItemWardrobe post on 5 Days of Outfits.
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