I write to vent the inward pain my heart
feeds upon--I seek nothing else--surely
no-one can think I mean to add to the
splendor this buried gladiator cast.
I am right to obey my urge to mourn;
though the thought I damage his fame hurts me,
I am leaving to other pens, wiser
heads the task of saving his name from death.
May rooted loyalty, love, and a weight
of sorrow, this anguish neither reason
nor time can lessen--excuse me to each of you.
Bitter crying, a song which is not sweet,
bleak sighs, a disquieted voice: I'll boast
not of my style but of my suffering.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
From V I:1. See also B A1:1:1; R I:1. Translations: Roscoe 85; Lefevre-Deumier 68; R.S.P. (in Lawley) 47-8; Lind 286-7; Tusiani 174, Gibaldi 35; Allen 7; Stortoni & Lillie 55. She recalls Petrarch's Sonnet 1: "Voi ch'ascoltate in rime sparse il suono" (Durling 37). Traditionally the first sonnet in the two part arrangement of Colonna's poems; "Il cieco amor del mondo un tempo tenne" traditionally the first of the second part. All the poems included here are explanations or apologies she offers for writing and for the way she writes. The last is a call for strength, an appeal by Vittoria to her muse ("Vorrei che sempre un grido alto e possente"). Key