The Sonnets of Michaelangelo Buanarotti, now for the first time translated into rhymed English, 2d ed., by John Addington Symonds; 1904; Smith, Elder, & Co., C. Scribner’s Sons in London, New York.
Most famous for painting the Sistine Chapel and his sculpture of David, the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo was also a prolific poet, in his lifetime penning more than 300 sonnets and madrigals. It is in his poetry that many critics have seen present the clearest evidence of his homosexual leanings. The openly homoerotic nature of the poetry has been a source of discomfort to later generations. Michelangelo’s grandnephew, Michelangelo the Younger, published them in 1623 with the gender of pronouns changed, and it was not until John Addington Symonds translated them into English in 1878 that the original genders were restored – the book featured here is a later edition of this work which features the Symonds translations side-by-side with the original Italian (see here for the 1st edition, with no Italian). Even in modern times some scholars continue to insist that, despite the restoration of the pronouns, the sonnets represent “an emotionless and elegant re-imagining of Platonic dialogue, whereby erotic poetry was seen as an expression of refined sensibilities”. (Wikipedia)
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