• View Cart
  • $16.95

    ISBN: 9781772011999 | Paperback

    112 pages | Pub. Date: 20180415
    5.5 W × 8.5 H × .75 D inches
    Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
    Rights: WORLD

    Or find Duets in your local bookstore

Sonnets Louise Labbé Guido Cavalcanti
By Edward Byrne

Edward Byrne’s Duets consists of interpretative translations of sonnets by Louise Labé, who lived and wrote in sixteenth-century Lyon, and those by thirteenth-century Florentine Guido Cavalcanti.

In the case of Labé, the twenty-four sonnets – twenty-three in French, one in Italian – constitute a narrative sequence chronicling the duration of an intense love affair. In the case of Cavalcanti, the sonnets are not sequential, but have been selected from the most explicitly philosophical of his sonnets – those which demonstrate his “radical Aristotelianism.” In both cases, one of a pre-Petrarchan poet, the other post-Petrarchan, love is represented as both a wildness, madness, or malady and as something that gives rise to speculation regarding the relationship between body and intellect.

The reader will find herein ninety poems, equally “translations” of Labé and Cavalcanti and “versions” authored by Byrne. Each sonnet is made up of nine lines, each line, in turn, made up of nine syllables. The work’s main body is written in the manner of the serial poem, a practice whereby the composing mind passes from room to room – and from stanza to stanza – in a kind of trance, forgetting and remembering. A distant but undeniable antecedent to this practice, in the context of translation, can be found in Robin Blaser’s masterful translation of Gérard de Nerval’s Les Chimères. The second version of Louise Labé’s sonnet sequence was translated from Rilke’s German version, using Labé’s Middle French text as a ‘pony.’ Interspersed within, or intervening in, the translations are “sonnets” by Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Marcel Proust, and Jacques Lacan. Between the main translations, readers will discover a sequence of wild sonnets, or nonets, taken from a separate collaboration of Byrne’s with Kim Minkus, and a handful of sonnets by Labé’s contemporaneous admirers – members of her salon, such as Maurice Scève and Clément Marot.

"That such a gem is Ted Byrne’s creation is hardly surprising."
The Capilano Review

By Edward Byrne

Edward Byrne is the author of Aporia (1989) and Beautiful Lies (1995) and the co-editor of The Recovery of the Public World: Essays on Poetics in Honour of Robin Blaser (1999).

Read more about Edward Byrne

news | 2018-11-15
Fall Launch a Resounding Success!

…ear. Ted Byrne read wild sonnets from his book  Duets and Tiziana La Melia brought art from  The …

news | 2018-11-13
Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch is Tonight!

…(from Seven Sacred Truths ), Ted Byrne (from Duets ), Tiziana La Melia (from The Eyelash and the …

news | 2018-09-18
Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch in Vancouver

…(from Seven Sacred Truths ), Ted Byrne (from Duets ), Tiziana La Melia (from The Eyelash and the …

news | 2018-04-18
Byrne’s Duets grace us during Poetry Month

…is now available. Order your copy today! Duets consists of interpretative translations of …