The love sonnets of Louise Labé of Lyons and the gilded legend of her life in the early years of the French Renaissance have appealed to the imagination of four centuries.
Printed here beside the text of the 1556 edition, the translations of the sonnets by Alta Lind Cook follow closely the original version and admirably retain its sweep and movement, its simplicity and melody. The rhyme scheme of the Petrarchan sonnet has been preserved with variations and corresponding to those of the French. With the poems, the translator presents a sketch of the circumstances and background of this unique literary figure of the Sixteenth Century, known in France and outside of France as La Belle Cordière.
These translations by Alta Lind Cook are fine poetry; in English as in French the reader finds "present reality in their hope and their despair, their independence and their impertinence, their tears and their sparkle."