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This poem is taken from PN Review 67, Volume 15 Number 5, May - June 1989.

Sonnets Cecco Angiolieri

1: Of Cecco, his pleasures, and their denial

Three things especially please me, but the price
of my desire for them is scarcely met:
that is to say a woman, taverns, dice;
it is on these my heart is gladly set.
But rare's the pleasure, hardly does suffice;
because I have no money I forget,
and then remembering, I turn to ice,
desire lost, and poverty my fret.
And I cry, 'May he dangle from a lance!'
of my own father, who keeps me so thin,
I'm called back, without lures, even from France.
At Easter-time, when stinginess is sin,
I wait upon his alms on the long chance -
I'm buzzard, he's the crane - I take him in.

2: The greed of his father astounds him
...


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