"This is the first large-scale English translation of Maurice Sceve's poem cycle, Delie, originally published in Lyons in 1544 and only rediscovered in the early twentieth century as one of the great forgotten masterpieces of French poetry. A contemporary of Sir Thomas Wyatt's in England, Sceve occupies a crucial place in the history of French verse between the late medieval tradition of Marot and the more self-consciously Renaissance poetics of the Pleiade. Powerfully registering the early impact of Petrarch's Rime in France, Sceve's canzoniere nonetheless establishes itself as a strongly independent and fiercely idiosycratic series of 449 love poems addressed to the poet's mysterious object of desire, Delie.
Often considered a sixteenth-century Mallarme because of the radiant obscurity of his verse, Sceve emerges in these English translations as a poet whose passionate ironies can be compared to such English metaphysicals as Donne while at the same time evoking the oblique self-portraiture of John Ashbery." "Introduced and annotated by the prize-winning translator Richard Sieburth, this bilingual selection from Sceve's Delie (which also includes the fifty emblems illustrating the original edition) will appeal not only to students of French literature and lovers of poetry but also to the broader audience of readers drawn to the visual and verbal universe of the Renaissance."--Jacket.