Louise Labe

(1524 - 1566 / France)

Louise Labe
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Louise Labe was born in the early 1520s to a prosperous rope-maker, a member of the Lyon bourgeoisie. Her mother died when she was a child; her father had her educated in languages and music, and a brother may have taught her to ride and fence. She was married in her mid-teens to another rope-maker, some 30 years older than she. It was apparently after her marriage that she began to participate in the literary circles of Lyon.

In 1555 Euvres de Louize Labe Lionnoize was published in Lyon: it contained a prose dedicatory epistle to a local noblewoman, a prose Debat de Folie et d'Amour, 24 sonnets (the first in Italian), and three elegies; the work concluded with 24 poems by other ... more »

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Best Poem of Louise Labe

Sonnet Viii

I live, I burn, I drown and I die
I endure at once chill and cold;
Life is too hard and too soft to hold;
I am joyful and sad, don't ask me why.

Suddenly I laugh and at the same time cry
And as I'm happy I must endure grief,
It lasts forever and goes like a thief,
Suddenly I bloom and vanish into sigh.

Thus I suffer Amors' inconstancy
And when I think I am in great pain,
Without thinking, it is gone again.

Then when my joy is a certainty
And my longing for love is not in vain,
I am in pain all over once again.

Read the full of Sonnet Viii

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