Romances: Poems

Lisa Ampleman (Author)


In this subtle and candid collection, Lisa Ampleman mixes contemporary elements and historical materials as she speaks back to the literary tradition of courtly love. Instead of bachelor knights bemoaning their allegedly cruel beloveds, Romances emphasizes the voices of female troubadours, along with those of historical figures such as Dante's wife, Petrarch's Laura, and Anne Boleyn. Ampleman also incorporates the work of the Italian Renaissance poet Gaspara Stampa, mentioned in Rilke's Duino Elegies, through a series of adaptations of her verse. Elsewhere, a contemporary sonnet sequence dedicated to Courtney Love shows the 1990s grunge rocker as subject, object, performer, and mother. As her poems reflect on popular romantic ideas about the past, the means by which elegies romanticize the dead, or the conventional romance of a happy marriage, Ampleman addresses a range of romantic entanglements: courtly and commonplace, sentimental and prosaic, toxic and mutual.

Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
LSU Press
Publish Date
February 05, 2020
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.23 inches | 0.28 pounds

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About the Author

Lisa Ampleman is the author of Full Cry. Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review Online, Image, the Massachusetts Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio, where she is the managing editor of the Cincinnati Review and the poetry series editor for Acre Books.


Ampleman's poems are the product of an extraordinary DNA splicing, combining the genetic material of Rilke, Dorothy Parker, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and--as evidenced in her collection's masterful showpiece--Courtney Love. Ampleman merges formal elegance with punk sass and offers both a witty debunking of romantic love in all of its manifestations and heartfelt expressions of ardor. There's consummate ingeniousness here--and formidable promise--David Wojahn, author of World Tree, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
In these wry, warm, learned, and formally dexterous poems, we find ourselves caught up in love--its twists, its turns, its fickleness, its fevers, its griefs, its unexpected happy endings. There's a shock of pleasure on every page of this delightful book; as Ampleman asks, '[W]hat else do you expect from Love?'--Melissa Range, author of Scriptorium, winner of the National Poetry Series competition