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Distributed for Iter Press

Complete Poems. A Bilingual Edition

In 1545, the first edition of the Rymes presented the young Pernette du Guillet as a model of feminine virtue and learning for other ladies to emulate. Pernette du Guillet has long been identified as muse and pupil of Maurice Scève in Lyon’s lively literary circle. Such views have profoundly shaped the reading of her work, yet the poems themselves reveal complex responses to lyric traditions and theories of love that influenced many Renaissance writers. Du Guillet transforms those conventions in a unique voice, moving beyond the silence imposed on sixteenth-century women. Expressing admiration and jealousy, awe and dismay, solemnity and playfulness, confusion and confidence, her poems bring to life a young woman’s experience with love and her development as a writer.

This first complete English edition provides a fully-annotated bilingual text and a fresh perspective from which to appreciate the originality and beauty of this poetry.

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"Those who wish to read this exquisite writer but do not trust their French now have an edition with extraordinarily helpful notes, subtle translations, and an erudite but accessible introduction. I will certainly assign it the next time I teach my course on Renaissance women writers. How can one not love a poet who explains why boars have cloven feet, who imagines Cupid shooting arrows tipped with Greek fire while giving a cheery 'Good day!' in his native Greek, and who mixes discourses from Petrarch, Plato, and the early French Renaissance into a witty dialogue that always charms and often moves?"

Anne Lake Prescott, Barnard College and Columbia University

 "This new bilingual edition of Du Guillet's poems includes a richly detailed and up-to-date introduction and a translation that follows the original rhymes—a daunting undertaking often performed with dazzling accuracy, humor and verve. This will be the English edition of the Rymes for a long time to come."


Ann Rosalind Jones, Smith College

"Here Marta Finch brings the musical rhymes and meters of the French originals to her deft translations of Pernette du Guillet's complete poetic work. The gracious verse, sometimes amusing, sometimes wrenching, will make evident to an English-speaking audience the intelligence, sensitivity, and technical skills of the sadly short-lived sixteenth-century poet. In her fourth epigram, praising the knowledge and goodness of another poet, Du Guillet writes, 'Your sweet pen gently pouring forth the while / Deserves all of the praise and glory gained / From riches seen to stream in noble style.' Riches stream in noble style in this book's English versions of a remarkable young woman's poetry."

Thomas Carper, Recipient of The Richard Wilbur Award for Distant Blue; co-author of Meter and Meaning

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Editor’s Introduction
The Other Voice 1
Ce Climat Lyonnois 3
How to Read the Rymes: The Power of the Paratext 9
The Trail of Immortal Concern: Birth, Love, and Learning in the Rymes 18
Dialogue, Imitation, and the Lyric Voice 30
Pernette du Guillet’s Neoplatonism 49
Reception of the Rymes 66
The French Text 67
Introducing the Rymes in English 69

Translator’s Note 74

Translation 81
Antoine du Moulin, To the Ladies of Lyon 83
To the Reader from the Printer 89
Poems 1–2 (Epigrams 1–2) 91
Poems 3–4 (Epigrams 3–4) 93
Poems 5–6 (Epigrams 5–6) 95
Poems 7–8 (Epigrams 7–8) 97
Poems 9–10 (Epigrams 9–10) 99
Poems 11–12 (Epigrams 11–12) 101
Poems 13–14 (Epigrams 13–14) 103
Poems 15–16 (Epigrams 15–16) 105
Poems 17–18 (Epigrams 17–18) 107
Poems 19–20 (Epigrams 19–20) 109
Poems 21–23 (Epigrams 21–23) 111
Poems 24–25 (Epigrams 24–25) 113
Poem 26 (Song 1) 115
Poems 27–28 (Epigrams 26–27) 117
Poem 29 (Song 2) 119
Poems 30–31 (Epigrams 28–29) 121
Poem 32 (Song 3) 123
Poem 33 (Song 4) 125
Poems 34–35 (Epigrams 30–31) 129
Poems 36–37 (Epigrams 32–33) 131
Poem 38 (Song 5) 133
Poem 39 (Elegy 1): Perfect Love 137
Poem 40 (Song 6) 141
Poem 41 (Epigram 34) 143
Poem 42 (Song 7) 145
Poem 43 (Elegy 2) 147
Poems 44–45 (Epigrams 35–36) 151
Poems 46–47 (Epigrams 37–38) 153
Poems 48–49 (Epigrams 39–40) 155
Poems 50–51 (Epigrams 41–42) 157
Poems 52–53 (Epigrams 43–44) 159
Poems 54–55 (Epigrams 45–46) 161
Poem 56 (Song 8) 163
Poems 57–58 (Epigrams 47–48) 169
Poems 59–60 (Epigrams 49–50) 171
Poems 61–62 (Epigrams 51–52) 173
Poem 63 (Song 9) 175
Poem 64 (Song 10): Ballad for Adonis 179
Poems 65–66 (Epigrams 53–54) 193
Poem 67 (Epistle 1): Cock-and-Bull Story 195
Poem 68 (Elegy 3): The Night 199
Poem 69 (Elegy 4): Despair 209
Poem 70 (Elegy 5): Solace 215
Poem 71 (Epigrams 55–59): Mummery: The Five Posts of Love 223
Poem 72 (Epigram 60): Anatomy Lesson 227
Poem 73 (Epistle 2): To a Foolish Rhymer 229
Epitaphs 231
Translation Notes 236

Glossary 309

Concordance 321

Index of First Lines and Titles 323

Editor’s Bibliography 329

Index 345

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