The Testament and Other Poems by François Villon, Parallel Text, Translated by Anthony Mortimer
The most celebrated of French medieval poets, François Villon makes poetry out of the basest material: the raw urban life of Paris with its petty officials, students, clergy, tradesmen, pimps, whores and thieves. Despite successful studies, the young Villon immersed himself in this world, embarking on a career of petty crime that brought him repeated imprisonment. Condemned to death, but then reprieved and banished from Paris, he disappears from history in 1463, leaving behind a legend of poète maudit that has never lost its fascination.
Violent, indignant, ribald and often brutally physical, Villon's verse has a formidable satiric thrust, and yet it also encompasses passages of poignant nostalgia and haunting lyric expression, culminating in his digressive autobiographical masterpiece, The Testament, which counts among the most popular texts of French poetry.
The Testament and Other Poems by François Villon - about the translator:
Anthony Mortimer has published acclaimed verse translations of Petrarch and Michelangelo (Penguin), Dante s Vita Nuova and the Poems of Cavalcanti (Alma Classics). His new version of Villon is a virtuoso performance, conveying the power and panache of the original by combining a lively contemporary idiom with the strict requirements of traditional verse forms.