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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

The Metabolism of Desire

The Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti

The fact that Cavalcanti's friend, Dante Alighieri, was a supremely fine poet ought not blind us to Cavalcanti's own, rather different excellence. His love poetry has more of the tang of real-world experience and is as appealing as Dante's, although in a more modern and recognizable way. The two poets both suffer, but Cavalcanti is not so sure that his torments are likely to improve his spirit. He is, therefore, more torn and under greater pressure to find some meaning in his struggles, and, as translator David R. Slavitt declares, "more fun."

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