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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A French, female Catullus?, 16 May 2009
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Poetry and Prose: A Bilingual Edition (Other Voice in Early Modern Europe) (Paperback)
Louise Labe wrote in the early C16th in Lyon, France. Associated with the French Pleiade school (du Bellay, Ronsard, Marot) she may or may not have been the lover of Oliver Magny. Whatever the relationship between her private life and her writing, she is one of the most emotional, raw and honest poets - or at least has the skill to make her writing appear emotionally authentic and sincere.

Blending the Petrarchan tradition with Latin erotics, she reminds me very much of Catullus: mainly short poems which almost shock with their intensity. Of course, like Catullus, she is also a supreme poet, and her metrics are immaculate, an argument against 'sincerity'.

However you may want to read these - as slices of 'real life' or as sophisticated and literarily self-conscious imitations of classical models - Labe is addictive, assured and engaging.
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Complete Poetry and Prose: A Bilingual Edition (Other Voice in Early Modern Europe)
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