Love Again

Matthew Reynolds

in The Poetry of Translation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605712
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731617 | DOI:
Love Again

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In an influential pair of essays in 1711, Addison presented Sappho as a poet of ‘Nature’ whose imagining of love had been much ‘copied’, for instance by Dryden. Copying has been dear to English love poetry at least since Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and has been used to explore the elements of constraint and conventionality that are inherent in love as this tradition imagines it: I read Wyatt's versions of Petrarch in the light of this perception. The widespread reiteration of Petrarchan conceits affects how Petrarchan poetry could be translated. When Fairfax spots a bit of Petrarchanism in Tasso he expands it sympathetically, confident in his ability to write in the same mode. But Harington, in his translation of Ariosto (1591), equates Petrarchan tropes with insincerity.

Keywords: love; nature; desire; Sappho; Addison; Chaucer; Petrarch; Wyatt; Fairfax; Harington

Chapter.  6910 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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