For critics like John Ruskin and Walter Pater, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1892) was one of the great creative figures of the day, a painter and a poet of major stature. Yeats and the young Pound regarded him as an exemplary figure of solitary dedication to art and beauty.
He called the sonnet 'a moment's monument', and his best short lyrics are instants of oppressed emotion cut free of time. In this, as in the suggestiveness of his imagery, he anticipates the French Symbolists. He can also be regarded as the founder of modern verse translation, not only for the freshness of his versions but also for his choice of poets---Villon, Cavalcanti and the young Dante.
In this selection, Clive Wilmer has made a personal choice, emphasizing the 'pure poetry' of the lyrics at the expense of the more conventionally Victorian monologues and narratives. He has also included a generous selection from the translations, and provided a biographical and critical introduction.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 from The House of Life; Chapter 2 from Dante and His Circle: with the Italian Poets preceding him (1100–1200–1300);
DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828–1892) was a central figure in nineteenth-century art circles. He was a painter himself and in 1848 co-founded the influential Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His collection of translations, The Early Italian Poets, appeared in 1861; his Poems and Ballads and Sonnets were published in 1881.,
CLIVE WILMER Born in 1945, grew up in London and was educated at Cambridge, where he is now Associate Teaching Officer at Sidney Sussex and Fitzwilliam Colleges. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Anglia Polytechnic University Four of his books of poetry are published by Carcanet, of which the most recent is Selected Poems (1995). He has also edited selections from John Ruskin and William Morris and is currently working on a new edition of Ruskin’s Praeterita.