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Maurice Scève - Poems from 'Dèlie'

24 January 2018

A selection of poems from Maurice Scève's ‘Délie’ has been added to the site. The poet was a member of the Lyon school of French Renaissance poets, at a time when Lyon rather than Paris was a cultural focus of new writing. 

Scève’s Délie, a collection of 449 ‘dizards’ (ten-line poems) deeply influenced by Petrarch’s Canzoniere, appeared in 1544, and forms the first significant collection of its kind in French. The book contains fifty allegorical woodcuts, images of which are presented here with a selection of the poems; each woodcut presenting both a pictorial emblem and a motto.

The secular and humanist French Renaissance, soon to be illuminated by the sonnets of the Pléiade, and later Montaigne’s essays, is here already in full flow.

The translations are rhymed, and follow the rhyme-scheme of the originals, in order to reflect the tightly constructed nature of the poems.

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