I spent some time with the great Italian Renaissance poet, Gaspara Stampa over the holiday period, whose life was cut tragically short by illness. Perhaps she died of a broken heart, having been rebuffed by the Count Collaltino di Collalto. This was, after all, the man to whom she dedicated her entire output of poetry, amounting to some 311 poems, none of which were published in her lifetime. Besides being one of the most influential female poets of that time she was also pretty good on the lute! I love this sorrowing and heartbroken sonnet, this ‘sonesto’ – a little sound or song. Love Susie x
O night to me more splendid and more blessed
Than the most blessed and most splendid of days,
Night worthy of the most exalted praise,
Not just of mine, unworthy and distressed,
You alone have been the faithful giver
Of all my joys; you've made the bitter taste
Of this life sweet and dear, for you've replaced
Within my arms the one who's bound me ever.
I just regret that I did not become
Lucky Alemena then, for whom the dawn
Postponed, against all custom, its returning,
But I can never say such good has come
From you, clear night, for even now my song
Cannot subdue the matter of its yearning.
By Gaspara Stampa