Gaspara Stampa

1523–1554
Gaspara Stampa was a 16th-century poet, musician, and singer born in Padua, Italy. Following her father’s death in the 1530s, she and her mother moved to Venice. There, her family home became an epicenter of Venetian cultural society. She was highly admired for her lyrical verses, which often elicited comparisons to Sappho. Despite her premature death at the age of 31, Stampa produced more than 300 poems, most of which were published posthumously. To date, she is considered one of the greatest female poets of the Renaissance.

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  • Listen A Fairly Feisty Lady
    Heather McHugh responds to Gaspara Stampa, one of the poets included in the Folger Shakespeare Library's Shakespeare's Sisters exhibit.

Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION Italy

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

LIFE SPAN 1523–1554

Biography

Gaspara Stampa was a 16th-century poet, musician, and singer born in Padua, Italy. Following her father’s death in the 1530s, she and her mother moved to Venice. There, her family home became an epicenter of Venetian cultural society. She was highly admired for her lyrical verses, which often elicited comparisons to Sappho. Despite her premature death at the age of 31, Stampa produced more than 300 poems, most of which were . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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