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Pietro Aretino

Pietro Aretino (20 April 1492 – 21 October 1556) was an Italian author, playwright, poet and satirist who wielded immense influence on contemporary art and politics and invented modern literate pornography.

First portrait by Titian, 1512

First portrait by Titian, 1512. He would fit in an episode of Portlandia.

Aretino prospered, living from hand to mouth as a hanger-on in the literate circle of his patron, sharpening his satirical talents on the gossip of politics and the Papal Curia, and turning the coarse Roman pasquinade into a rapier weapon of satire, until his sixteen ribald Sonetti Lussuriosi (Lust Sonnets) written to accompany Giulio Romano’s exquisitely beautiful but utterly pornographic series of drawings engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi under the title I Modi finally caused such outrage that he had to temporarily flee Rome. In 2007, Michael Nyman set eight of the poems to music. They proved no less controversial: at a 2008 performance at Cadogan Hall, the programs were withdrawn on allegations of obscenity.

Livejournal’s Weepingcock community has some translations.

“Cradled the General’s songster in the palm of his hand and began stroking its back, as one stroke the back of a cat”

“Placing his paintbrush, which he first moistened with spit, into her tiny color cup, he made her twist and turn as women do in the birth throes or in the mother’s malady. And to be doubly sure that his nail would be driven more tightly into her slit, he motioned to his back and his favorite punk pulled his breeches down to his heels and applied his clyster to the reverend’s visiblium”

“Were now pounding the sauce in the mortar”

“Filled the glass tool”

“I was more worn out than pawns are frayed by usury, and began rubbing my dear little monkey with my hand like cats in Jaunary rub their backsides on a roof”

“Speak plainly and say fuck, prick, cunt, and ass if you want anyone except for the scholars at the Sapienza Capranica to understand you. You with your rope in the ring, your obelisk in the Colosseum, your leek in the garden, your key in the lock, your bolt in the door, your pestle in the mortar, your nightingale in the nest, your tree in the ditch, syringe in the flap-valve, your sword in the scabbeard, not to mention your stake, your crozier, your parsnip, your little monkey, your this, your that, your him and your her, your apples, leaves of the missle, fact, verbigriata, job, affair, big news, handles, arrow, carrot, root, and all shit there is”

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  1. Jenny Lyn
    Twitter: jennylynwrites
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That’s all I have.

    • Joan
      Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I think my favorite is “rubbing my dear little monkey.” It’s sort of like spanking the monkey, only more gentle.

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