NOTE E RASSEGNE Absence and Desire in Michelangelo's Poetry: Literary Tradition and the Lesson(s) of the Manuscript "Fuss 'io pur lui!" (Girardi 248)

Gregory Lucente
1987 unpublished
In an essay published in 1983, "Lyric Tradition and the Desires of Absence: Rudel, Dante, and Michelangelo," I discussed the play of absence and desire in Michelangelo's poetry with special reference to the sonnet "Vorrei voler. Signor, quel ch'io non voglio" (Girardi 87; Frey 140).^ The aim of that essay was twofold: first, to come to terms with Michelangelo's general concept of the absence of the poet's beloved as a spur to literary creation, and, second, to situate that concept in an
more » ... ncept in an historical line that included both the Provençal poets and the dolce stil nuovo. With these ends in mind, I began by focusing on the poetry of Jaufré Rudel (for his strong association of desire with absence in the motif of the "amor lointain") and on that of Dante (for his Christian reinterpretation of this theme in the Vita nuova and the Rime), in order to gauge the crucial shift that occurred subsequendy in Italian Renaissance lyric in regard to the internal force of the individual poet's desire and will. In the course of my reading of Michelangelo's sonnet, in which religious confession blends with the tradition of the love lyric, I could not avoid commenting on the seemingly odd forms of the possessive adjectives, and I remarked that these forms reinforce the topic of gender confusion that is central to "Vorrei voler" as well as to so many of Michelangelo's other poems. Following are the tercets in which these forms occur, as Girardi gives them: QUADERNI