Vittoria Colonna (1492 – 1547)

A woman in her own right, this strong lady was one of the most popular women poets of sixteenth-century Italy. She was, in fact, the first woman to publish a book of poems in Italy, an event that launched a revolution for Italian women’s writing.

Michelangelo’s final tribute to her which was read aloud at her funeral …

What wonder is it if, when near the fire,
I burned and melted, now that it is cold
I am consumed still with a fierce desire
And turn to ashes, sad and unfulfilled …
Vittoria by Michelangelo
A portrait of Vittoria Colonna by artist Sebastiano del Piombo.
The first line of her first poem is “I write only to vent my inward pain.”For Vittoria writing was a therapeutic process.

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