Fifty More Selected Sonnets by Gaspara Stampa

Stampa, Gaspara (1523–1554), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

Open Access logo

Gaspara Stampa, described as the Sappho of her day, was a renowned 16th-century poet and musician from Venice. She was known for her cultural influence and musical talent. After her father’s death, she lived in a culturally vibrant household overseen by her educated mother. She excelled in music, performing her compositions and others' works, and gained public recognition by the mid-1540s. Her romantic entanglement with Count Collaltino di Collalto, a soldier and poet, ended by 1551. Stampa’s legacy lies in her sonnets, which express her love for Collaltino, published posthumously in 1554 by her sister. Despite her portrayal, for example by Rilke, as a symbol of unrequited love, Stampa’s work is valued for its literary merit, continuing the tradition of love poetry exemplified by figures such as Sappho and Petrarch. Her contribution to the Petrarchan sonnet showcases her as a significant poet of her time. This translation presents fifty further selected sonnets.

Author Details

cover image

Kline, A. S.

Support Open-Access:

Your contribution keeps our classical translations available to all. Every dollar helps support classics education and funds the expansion of our catalogue. Value what we do? Donate now.

© Copyright, All Rights Reserved. This work may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Conditions and Exceptions apply.