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Set against the chequered background of Rome, the city of the six Ps – Pope, priests, princes, prostitutes, parasites and the poor – Belli’s sometimes scandalous sonnets deal with life’s elementals: love, death, sex, food, money, family, religion and politics. In his immense oeuvre, sampled here in a sizeable and varied selection of the best poems, people from every course and manner of life have their say – housewives, mothers, beggars, lovers, businessmen, popes, whores, doctors, thieves, lawyers, priests, pen-pushers, actresses, gossips and many more. Their voices and preoccupations are brilliantly and accurately rendered in this dual-language volume by prize-winning novelist and poet Mike Stocks, one of the finest sonneteers of our day.

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classics / Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli / international / italian / Mike Stocks / poetry / translation /