Cellini’s Poetics I: The Rime



In one of his sonnets Cellini celebrates his reputation as a “whoremonger” (puttaniere) who unceremoniously abandons Fortune, presented in the guise of an earthly woman lover, for a male lover, his beloved Ganymede: “Porca fortuna,” he laments, “s’tu scoprivi prima / che ancora a me piacessi ‘1 Ganimede! / Son puttaniere ormai, com’ogni uom vede, / né avesti di me la spoglia opima” (Damn, cursed Fortune! If only you found out earlier that I also liked Ganymede. I am a whoremonger at last, as every man can see, nor did you conquer my rich spoils).1 This satirical sonnet, filled with coarse language side-by-side Petrarchan conceits, is typical of the more than one hundred poems Cellini composed during the course of his life. In this sonnet Cellini juxtaposes two different stylistic registers, mocks Petrarch, and celebrates his own polymorphously perverse sexual nature.


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  1. 6.
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  2. 7.
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© Margaret A. Gallucci 2003

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