Poems

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Northwestern University Press, Dec 5, 2012 - Poetry - 272 pages
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One of the most original and influential European poets of the Middle Ages, François Villon took his inspiration from the streets, taverns, and jails of Paris. Villon was a subversive voice speaking from the margins of society. He wrote about love and sex, money trouble, "the thieving rich," and the consolations of good food and wine. His work is striking in its directness, wit, and gritty urban realism. Villon’s writing spurred the development of the psychologically complex first-person voice in lyric poetry. He has influenced generations of avant-garde poets and artists. Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine have emulated Villon’s poetry. Claude Debussy set it to music, and Bertolt Brecht adapted it for the stage. Ezra Pound championed Villon’s poetry and became largely responsible for its impact on modern verse. With David Georgi’s ingenious translation, English-speaking audiences finally have a text that captures the riotous energy and wordplay of the original. With a newly revised French text that reflects the latest scholarship, this bilingual edition also features inviting and informative notes that illuminate the nuances of Villon’s poems and the world of medieval Paris.

  

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Contents

The Testament
27
Shorter Poems
165
List of Abbreviations
225

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About the author (2012)

François Villon (born circa1430) is widely recognized as one of France's greatest lyric poets. A graduate of the Sorbonne and a chronic lawbreaker, he was pardoned for knifing a priest, jailed for stealing from a college chapel, and eventually sentenced to hang. He successfully appealed the sentence and was instead banished from Paris in 1463. He was never heard from again.

David Georgi studied medieval literature and modern poetry at Yale University and New York University. He works at Vanity Fair magazine and lives in New York City.

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