Selected Sonnets

Selected Sonnets

Selected Sonnets

Selected Sonnets

Synopsis

The most important writer in Portuguese history and one of the preeminent European poets of the early modern era, Lués de Camões (1524–80) has been ranked as a sonneteer on par with Petrarch, Dante, and Shakespeare. Championed and admired by such poets as William Blake, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Camões was renowned for his intensely personal sonnets and equally intense life of adventure.
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 by William Baer into contemporary, yet metrical and rhymed, English-language poetry, with the original Portuguese on facing pages.
A comprehensive selection of sonnets that demonstrates the full range of Camões's interests and invention, Selected Sonnets will prove indispensable for both students and teachers in comparative and Renaissance literature, Portuguese and Spanish history, and the art of literary translation.
"Splendidly produced.... William Baer brings [Camões's] sonnets forward as accomplished, indeed often beautiful, examples of this Renaissance invention."- Jeffery Hart, National Review "William Baer's artistry gives the reader translations that convey much of the poetry's original directness and simplicity, along with the intensity, timbre, and subtlety of the original imagery and themes.... [ Selected Sonnets ] will renew interest in these superb sonnets and bring Camões deserved readership in English."- Choice

Excerpt

Luís de Camões (1524–80), the greatest of Portuguese writers, has been described by Harold Bloom as the “transcendent genius of his nation.” Camões is the author of the last great Western epic, Os Lusíadas, and he was also one of the most sublime lyric poets of the Renaissance, often compared to Dante, Petrarch, and Shakespeare. The poet’s life, as commentator Henry H. Hart remarks, is “so fascinating and adventurous that it borders on the unbelievable.” The young Camões, a regular at the Lisbon court, lost an eye fighting the Moors in Morocco and was later arrested for stabbing a royal favorite in a Lisbon street brawl during the Corpus Christi celebrations of 1552. He was subsequently banished to the Eastern empire where he fought in several military engagements, served as a government official in Macao, China, and was charged with embezzlement.

Recalled to India, Camões, by his own account in Os Lusíadas, was shipwrecked off the Cambodian coast and survived by swimming to shore clutching the only manuscript of his epic-inprogress. Subsequently, he was jailed in Goa, India, for his activities in Macao and his unpaid debts. After seventeen years in the East, Camões found himself stranded in abject poverty in Mozambique. When he was fortuitously rescued by several friends, he was finally able to return to Lisbon, where he published his national epic, Os Lusíadas, six years before the disastrous death of King Sebastião and his Portuguese army at Alcácer-Kebir in Morocco.

Camões died in Lisbon in 1580 during an outbreak of the plague, just before Spain seized his beloved Portugal. Luís de Camões led . . .

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