Brandes, Georg. Michelangelo: His Life, His Times, His Era. Translated with a foreword by Heinz Norden. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1963. Highly readable interpretive biography by a great Danish scholar. Cites more than twenty poems, with an evaluation of Michelangelo as “in many ways . . . the most compelling poet Italy ever produced.” Demonstrates the self-mockery, the satire, even the buffo quality of some of the poetry.
Bull, George, ed. Michelangelo: Life, Letters, and Poetry. Poems translated by George Bull and Peter Porter. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Accessible collection of writings by and about Michelangelo. Includes Condivi’s affectionate biography of his teacher, one of the earliest sources for Michelangelo’s life, along with selected translations of the master’s poems and letters, a fine introduction, and other study aids.
Clements, Robert J. Michelangelo’s Theory of Art. New York: New York University Press, 1961. An intense and thorough exploration of Michelangelo’s formative influences. Devotes attention to the relationship between his writing and other forms of artistic expression.
_______. The Poetry of Michelangelo. New York: New York University Press, 1965. Thorough analysis of the poetry in terms of its relation to Italian and broader European literary traditions. Documented discussion of the poetry as a reflection of the life of the artist. Best study in English of Michelangelo’s writing.
Pater, Walter. “The Poetry of Michelangelo.” In Michelangelo: Selected Readings, edited by William E. Wallace. New York: Garland, 1999. An evaluation of Michelangelo’s poetry by an eminent Victorian literary critic.
Ryan, Christopher. The Poetry of Michelangelo: An Introduction. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1998. Analyzes the chronological development of Michelangelo’s poetry, explaining the meaning and technique of his work. Cites quotations from his poetry in both Italian and English translation.