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Distributed for Iter Press

Poems of Widowhood

A Bilingual Edition of the 1538 "Rime"

Edited and Translated by Ramie Targoff
Edited by Troy Tower
Vittoria Colonna’s 1538 Rime, originally issued without her permission by a small Parma press, was the first of many editions of her poetry published during her lifetime. Born into one of the most powerful families in Rome and connected to many of the great political, religious, and artistic figures of the period, Colonna was uniquely positioned to transform the landscape of women’s writing. The first woman to see her own poems appear in print in a single-author volume, she led the way for hundreds of other women of her time to publish their own works. Comprising more than one hundred and forty sonnets and two canzoni, the Rime expresses Colonna’s anguish over the loss of her husband and her struggle both to preserve his memory and secure her own future.

This volume presents the first complete English translation of the 1538 Rime and restores the original Italian texts from the blemished Parma printing and later composite editions, a boon to readers of both languages.

206 pages | 5 color plates | 6 x 9

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

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“A full translation of Colonna’s Rime is very much awaited by students and scholars all over the world. . . . Targoff writes with a rare enthusiasm and sophistication, drawing her readers through Colonna’s rich life—her friendships, love, widowhood, literary ambitions, religious yearnings—while being both fascinatingly accessible and editorially innovative."

Unn Falkeid, University of Oslo, Norway

Table of Contents



The Other Voice
Publishing Vittoria Colonna: The 1538 Rime
Life and Works of Vittoria Colonna
The Amorous Verse of the 1538 Edition
Spiritual Verse in the 1538 Edition and Beyond
Posthumous Reputation and Influence
A Note on This Translation and Edition

Poems of Widowhood: The 1538 Rime
Sonetti / Sonnets
Canzoni / Songs

Critical Apparatus

Concordance of Numbering Systems


Index of First Lines

General Index

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