Luís de Camões is world famous as the author of the great Renaissance epic The Lusíads, but his large and equally great body of lyric poetry is still almost completely unknown outside his native Portugal. In The Collected Lyric Poems of Luís de Camões, the award-winning translator of The Lusíads gives English readers the first comprehensive collection of Camões’s sonnets, songs, elegies, hymns, odes, eclogues, and other poems–more than 280 lyrics altogether, all rendered in engaging verse.
Camões (1524-1580) was the first great European artist to cross into the Southern Hemisphere, and his poetry bears the marks of nearly two decades spent in north and east Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, and Macau. From an elegy set in Morocco, to a hymn written at Cape Guardafui on the northern tip of Somalia, to the first modern European love poems for a non-European woman, these lyrics reflect Camões’s encounters with radically unfamiliar peoples and places. Translator Landeg White has arranged the poems to follow the order of Camões’s travels, making the book read like a journey. The work of one of the first European cosmopolitans, these poems demonstrate that Camões would deserve his place among the great poets even if he had never written his epic.