Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Woman on fire: Mapping the four elements in Gaspara Stampa's “Rime”
by Broccia, Lillyrose Veneziano, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2008, 176; 3333484
Abstract (Summary)

"Woman on Fire: Mapping the Four Elements of Gaspara Stampa's Rime" follows Anassilla's elemental journey with water, earth, air and fire as she transforms her lyrical persona through her relation to each.

Chapter 1, aquatic poet, starts with Anassilla's tears and maps a voyage of self identification. This leads to an understanding of her place in the waters around her. Anassilla, the female river body, searches for her poetic joy. On the waves of this element, she lands at terrestrial shores.

Chapter 2, terrestrial poet, maps Anassilla's use of earthly terms as they moved in the direction of their climax, her Count Collaltino. Beginning with the universal term, "terra," and ending with the specific term "colle," this protagonist sees her beloved's richness, but is also weighed down by it. At times she identifies herself with earth, and then leaves it to reach aerial heights.

Chapter 3, aerial poet, traces the movement of Anassilla's sighs, which resonate the universe's materializations of exhalation and inhalation. These carry her to the igneous center of her poetic universe.

Chapter 4, igneous poet, focuses on fire itself, the true source of Anassilla's passion. Her igneous joy is her own existence as the lyrical expression of love and desire. Stampa infuses her protagonist Anassilla with the fire of a faithful, burning passion. She tells us, in fact, that her noble flame merits the admiration it has earned. She must be celebrated in life, eternally, and thereafter: Sì chiara fiamma merta i pregi suoi; in questa parte io deggio esser cantata fin ch'io sia viva, eternamente, e poi (Stampa, 115, 12-14).

I offer this work as a contribution to the field of Italian Literature that will encourage further scholarly discussion of Gaspara Stampa's Rime and that will give her flame, her poetry, the particular attention it deserves. It is an invitation to study the rich thematic content of Stampa's Canzoniere in contrast to her predecessors, within the context of her own poetic framework, and in relation to her contemporary female poets.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cavallo, Jo Ann
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 69/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern language, Romance literature
Keywords: Elements, Italy, Poetry, Renaissance, Rime, Stampa, Gaspara, Women writers
Publication Number: 3333484
ISBN: 978-0-549-85607-8
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